Far west on North Avenue is this upscale Italian, owned and operated by siblings Mark and Steffania Sparacino, both of whom hail from Topo Gigio -- he was a server, she a hostess. The 45-seat dining room is handsomely appointed, with dark oak wainscoting, cream-colored walls, and an antique carved wood bar at the back. Antipasti are sophisticated classics: sauteed escargots with prosciutto in a brandy cream sauce; rolled eggplant stuffed with ricotta and goat cheese in a refined tomato sauce; carpaccio with a balsamic vinegar reduction, briny capers, and shards of Parmigiano Reggiano. For the primi piatti there are tempting pasta dishes like tortalacci smothered in four cheeses and a vibrant linguine tossed with sun-dried tomatoes, cremini mushrooms, fresh spinach, and cherry tomatoes. Second courses include pan-seared halibut in a Sicilian orange sauce and a rack of lamb with mashed potatoes and a nicely balanced port and caramelized onion reduction. The room's small enough that everyone feels like a personal guest of the family.
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