New York: Where to Eat: Neighborhood Places: Inoteca
This four-year-old, charming Italian wine bar, located across the street from the Hotel on Rivington, has become a dependable staple in a neighborhood where even locals can’t keep up with the ever-changing, hotter-than-thou restaurant scene. An off-shoot of Greenwich Village’s tiny Ino, ‘inoteca is a boisterous celebration of Italian culinaria, and the lively atmosphere, tasty antipasti and large selection of wines attract a chic crowd of mostly thirty-somethings. Inoteca’s menu, overseen by Eric Kleinman (the former sous chef of Lupa, another Italian favorite), is mostly a small-plate affair, heavy on paninis, bruschette, antipasta, with a few substantial dishes, like the popular polpette (meatballs) that are served in a fragrant tomato-citrus sauce. The wine list is more extensive with bottles sourced all across Italy and the islands, and thanks to the well-informed, friendly wine stewards, you’re bound to discover interesting new vintages every time you go.
Inoteca is a lovely spot for a snack and pre-dinner drink, especially if you’re already in the area exploring sights like the Lower East Side Tenement Museum or, starting in December, the anticipated New Museum. On weekend nights, it’s a good idea to arrive early (‘inoteca doesn’t accept reservations). Open daily from noon-3 a.m.— Simone Girner 11/12/2007