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“Numero 26”

  Occasion: Cuisine: Area: Cost: Rating:
  Night Out Italian West Village Cheap Eats Good


Owned by twin brothers Mauro and Marco LaVilla, Numero 26 is a modest slip of a place, with an international wine list and a nice menu of cheeses, cured meats, salads, and panini. The place shows soccer (for schedule see in season, and when the games arenít on, screens old, off-beat Italian movies. (The one we saw involved an elephant, a woman, a man, and a circus. Iíll let you use your imagination.) The place is low-lit with a dozen or so tables and a six seat bar, and really has minimal designóthere are numbers decaled onto the walls over each table that probably have some sort of soccer meaning that were lost on me. But despite its simplicity, or maybe because of it, the place has a sweet, laid back vibe that is warm and friendly and the wine flows freely. The servers are charming Italian guys (emphasis on charming, especially if you are a woman), who guide you through the wine and beer list and serve you lots of tasty Italian cheeses and silky sheets of bresaola and rosy ribbons of proscuitto with crisp, wafer-thin bread drizzled with olive oil and sea salt. I am not suggesting this place is unearthing any new culinary ground with platters of cured pork products, cheeses and the like, but itís all in the delivery. These guys are passionate about their little place, and it shows. (And the paninis are killer.)

Numero 26 (26 Carmine Street, 212- 242-1196).

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