This ancient Italian beanery has remade itself into a modern restaurant, with romantic flickering candles and a new green-and-buff sandpapered wall treatment. The food is much better than it needs to be, featuring generous appetizers of fried zucchini and red-sauced tripe. Pastas remain the center of the menu, and you need make no apology about treating them as your main course. Best are tagliatelle in a rich porcini sauce and spaghetti alla matriciani, and in the Italian-American manner, there are four other choices featuring spaghetti. Our favorite secondi, hands down, are a stunning eight-chop rack of lamb and a humble platter of plump grilled sausages sided with broccoli rabe.
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"It's better than french fries," my date exclaimed, launching another crisp shoestring of fried zucchini mouthward. Indeed, the immense haystack of squash, flanked by a pair of lemon wedges, was a tribute to the kitchenbattere...