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La Locanda Restaurant

The eight indoor and eight outdoor tables are nearly always taken, which has been true since this little Italian charmer opened in January 2003. And why not? La Locanda serves simple, homespun Italian fare at affordable rates. It's an oasis in a sea of glitzy, overpriced SoBe touristaurants. Hits include eggy strands of homemade "guitar pasta" -- thicker, chewier, more textured than spaghetti -- singing with rich notes of long-simmered lamb ragout; bright yellow fiocchetti packets packed with mixed cheeses and a touch of sweet pear smothered in smooth cream sauce; and rack of veal, featuring four juicy, crisply crusted double chops in a pool of porcini sauce. The flavorful medley of sautéed vegetables and rosemary-roasted potatoes that accompanies main courses is good too, as is fluffy tiramisu served in a bowl. Starters run $11 to $13, pastas $12 to $17, and most meats and fish are under $20.

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