Cheap Eats 2007: A la Lucia

At this lively trattoria, it’s easy to imagine you’ve stumbled into Big Night. There’s no timbale, but there’s first-rate house-made cannelloni stuffed with veal, tender chicken marsala strewn with wine-soaked mushrooms, and a very good sausage-and-pepper rigatoni.

This is simple, big-portioned, familiar fare—a truffle-free zone that fills the gap between fine dining and the local spaghetti house. Dishes are presented with care—witness the lemon-spritzed arugula framed in points of Parmesan cheese.

Luscious wines—owner Michael Nayeri spent 18 years as Galileo’s vino guru—arrive in goblet-size glasses, an unspoken invitation to stay and talk.

Except for the refreshing grapefruit-Campari sorbetto, desserts can be skipped—but so what? Louis Prima didn’t show, either.

Open Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday and Sunday for dinner.

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