L'Apicio, a Terrific, Grown-up Italian Place Comes to the Bowery, Courtesy of the Much-loved Dell'anima Crew 

SSPNY Introduces Fine Italian Restaurant L'Apicio to the Bowery in East Village: Another Success to Follow the West Village's Dell'anima

SSPNY introduces Italian Restaurant L'Apicio to the East Village Located on First Street Between Bowery and Second Avenue on the Ground Floor of the Bowery Avalon Condominiums

The East Village is certainly no stranger to solid Italian restaurants, and in general that stretch of Bowery right around Houston Street has plenty of fun, quality places to eat, from Hecho en Dumbo to DBGB to The Wren to Mile End Sandwich to Peels to Pulino's. BUT we could always use one more, right?! Enter L'Apicio, open just a couple of weeks now on First Street between Bowery and Second Avenue (in the ground floor of that huge condo, the Bowery Avalon) thanks to the great Gabe Thompson and Joe Campanale of West Village Dell'anima, L'Artusi, and Anfora fame and acclaim. The L'Apicio menu is filled with appealing pastas, polentas, and "piattinos", the servers and staff here are all total pros, the room is dim and pretty, and the food, well... I went on L'Apicio's first Saturday night, sat at the bar, devoured four dishes, loved them all. Really and truly: loved. SSPNY Tries the Charred Octopus on the Small Plates Section of L'Apicio's Menu and Raves About the Perfect Cooking

Take the generously portioned Charred Octopus, from the small plates/starters section of the L'Apicio menu: from my first tender, briney bite I knew I was in good hands here, the cephalopod perfectly cooked, the plump fregola nicely seasoned, the pepperoni pieces adding some bite, the whole plate singing with salt and lemon. This is well-conceived food, prepared with skill and and care by a kitchen that know what it's doing. And my first L'Apicio pasta was even better: chewy Mezzalune pasta pockets stuffed with a sweet cauliflower puree, topped with pinenuts and crunchy, supercharged capers. One of the best dishes I've had this year.

 SSPNY Raves About the Perfectly Cooked Mezzalune Pasta Pockets Stuffed With Sweet Cauliflower, An Absolute Must to Order at East Village's Italian Eatery L'Apicio

And the hits just kept coming at L'Apicio! Every restaurant in town puts a Brussels Sprouts side on the menu this time of year (see also: butternut squash and/or pumpkin) but L'Apicio really does it right, peeling the sprouts down to their individual leaves, frying them up until they're caramelized and as crispy as chips, adding nice-sized strips of chewy speck, then--and this is where this dish REALLY gets elevated above the crowd--infusing it all with mustard. Delicious and hopelessly addictive. Finally, my second L'Apicio pasta was almost as amazing as my first, a pile of thick Agnolotti filled with sweetbreads and mascarpone, dressed with an intense reduction of some sort, the entire thing hearty and satisfying. Equally perfect for a date as well as a crew of fun-loving friends--the prices, while not crazy-low, are doable, and they have a great cocktail program--L'Apicio is a winner.

 SSPNY Orders a Side of the Season Brussel Sprouts on the Addictive Menu, and Offers a Great Date Spot in East Village Along with a Great Cocktail Program

L'Apicio is located on First Street between Bowery and Second Avenue and is open for dinner every day from 5:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., and until 12:00 midnight on Thursday through Saturday. Brunch coming soon. You can find more info and the complete L'Apicio menu here.

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