food 02.27.03

al Gallo Nero

Day-late-and-a-dollar-short Zagat doesn't include al Gallo Nero 192 Bleecker [6th/Macdougal] 475.2355, in their directory, and while that's a shame for the restaurant, it works in your favor since it's not overcrowded with the cranberry-guide-toting hordes. Make it your own hideaway and tuck into delightful Tuscan food served in a rustic setting, along with heaping portions of Italian charm.

The fried artichokes, mini-, puff-pastry timballo (you may remember the supersized version in the movie "Big Night") and butternut squash gnocchi are reason enough to stop by. Other virtues include a number of vegetarian-friendly dishes and a thoughtful list of Italian wines at affordable prices.

It may be located on an unattractive stretch of Bleecker Street, but Gallo Nero seems to brighten up the neighborhood as easily as it cheers diners.

The James Beard House, 167 W. 12th [6th/7th], is having their biannual cookbook and kitchenware sale, including some items from Mr. Beard's own kitchen, this Saturday, March 1 from 10am-2pm.

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