In the days when pasta came in three shapes and arugula was italicized, country Italian food entered my life in the guise of a quirky spot called Caffe de Alfredo. Mismatched tables, abundant greenery, brightly colored plates, and a menu that transported me well beyond the red sauce of my childhood were only a few steps away from my first Village apartment. It was there that I first sampled spaghetti alla puttanesca and enjoyed the tang of a simple salad of non-iceberg greens dressed with a vinaigrette heady with the acidulated honey of what I now know to be... More >>>
By photo: Brian Finke
The winner: Spaghetti amatriciana awaits its fate outside Massimo al Ponte Vecchio.