21 Phillips Ave, Lawrenceville
Hours: Lunch, Tue–Fri, 11:30 am–2:30 pm. Dinner, Tue–Thurs, 5–9 pm; Fri–Sat, 5–10 pm; Sat, 4–9 pm.
Style: Super cozy (seats about 40) one-room BYO off the beaten path in downtown Lawrenceville. Refined local art decorates the walls and a few tables on the patio allow for al fresco dining.
Don’t Miss: Start with a Vidalia loaf stuffed with signature sweet Vidalia onions, seasonal Jersey veggies, garlic, oil, and melted mozzarella cheese ($5) or split one of the very large salads such as the Palermitana, with organic baby lettuces, fennel, oranges, pine nuts, and shaved parmigiano reggiano in a balsamic vinaigrette ($9). Pasta choices include excellent rigatoni vodka with prosciutto ($16), while dinner entrees feature Italian classics, seafood, and steak. Try the Pulcinella, boneless seared chicken or veal served with roasted red peppers, asparagus, and fresh mozzarella in a sherry wine sauce ($19) or the black angus New York strip steak, an 8-ounce marinated French-cut organic steak finished with portabella mushrooms and gorgonzola cheese in a Borolo demi-glazed sauce ($26).
Heads Up: The northen Italian cuisine is compliments of Sicilian-born chef/owner Salvatore Scarlata, who makes sure to visit every table. If you become a frequent guest (and you will), he’s sure to welcome you by name.
The Scoop: The quaint eatery is a triple hit with an intimate atmosphere, flavorful food, and attentive service.