gnocco caffe; photo -- Youngna Park

gnocco caffe; photo -- Youngna Park

East village hideaway, Gnocco Caffe, offers a sumptuous menu and one of Gothamist's favorite outdoor dining gardens downtown. Owners Pierluggi Palazzo and his wife, Rossella Tedesco, have hired chefs directly from Modena, talented natives who make a proper gnocchi and maccheroncini. A meal at Gnocco Caffe begins with a serving of their namesake dish -- rectangles of crisp, blistered, fried dough served in a basket with slats of prosciutto and an assortment of dried, cured meats ($8.50). The dining area is spacious, decorated exuberantly with enormous (but not overwhelming) painted flowers, complimented by the canopy of real flowers and vines outdoors. A thorough dinner (and dessert) menu with many hits and few misses added to an extensive wine list make Gnocco Caffe a top pick that's surprisingly easy reasonable on your wallet, if wandering east and in search of Italian.

Gnocco Caffe is located at 337 E. 10th Street b/w Ave. A & B. (212) 677 - 1913.

gnocco caffe; photo -- Youngna Park

gnocco caffe; photo -- Youngna Park