If mouthwatering meatballs aren’t your bag, just turn around.
If lovingly wood-fired pizza doesn’t set your heart aflutter, go no further.
Also, you might not have a pulse.
Anyway, you’ve been warned...
... About Ristorante Rafele, a bright new spot in the Village where miraculous Italian-food-related things are occurring, now open.
Yeah, miraculous. We sense your skepticism. Let us counter that with two words: miniature meatballs. Pan-seared, smaller-than-a-golf-ball-sized meatballs. Meatballs made from beef and veal. Meatballs that are just a little crispy on the outside. That’s what you’re working with here. (That and grilled octopus, housemade tagliolini with truffle pâté and a braised pork belly that’ll make you glad pigs have bellies.)
This is what the Olive Garden wants to be when it grows up. Just a casual date spot with an unrepentant use of French doors, ample sidewalk seating and a pile of produce so fresh it almost looks fake.
You’ll probably learn a thing or two here, too. The kitchen is completely open. Just pull up a stool at its marble counter and watch an honest-to-God nonna doing what she was put on this planet to do: turn pasta into works of art.
Not to put her in a box or anything.