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The pedigree is impressive--Keith McNally (Balthazar, Pastis) partners with Jody Williams (first Giorgione, then Gusto) to create an Italian bistro--but the results are mixed. Certain of Jody's signatures--octopus salad, fried artichokes--slip through intact, but pastas like bucatini with sardines and spaghetti amatriciana turn out bland in the first case, and too sweet and tomatoey in the second. Best on a first visit was a Sunday special of boiled meats--sausage, tongue, and chicken among them. Dishes are small enough that a three-course progression is a necessity. Special house wines, which come served in liter carafes, can be a great deal.
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