Not since Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson co-crooned "The Girl Is Mine" has something so adeptly featured equal parts cheese and class—that is, until the pan-Italian restaurant Piccolo Sogno opened in the former Timo space. Featuring more rattan wicker furniture per square foot than a Bombay and Company alongside a palace of Italian marble, this might be the only Italian restaurant where hippie troubadour Jack Johnson and the coolest octogenarian musician ever Tony Bennett could comfortably slurp red sauced noodles together. They'd probably do it on the lush back patio, which is filled with garden plants of many varieties - and diners galore in the summer.
Piccolo Sogno, which translates as "little dream," has such a tantalizing abundance of protein on its menu, including culatello (artisan-style prosciutto); porchetta, (slow-roasted pork that’s been given the culinary equivalent of a sponge bath in garlic, olive oil, and fennel); and raw beef carpaccio, pounded like a 1980s Mike Tyson opponent into tender submission and slathered with truffle oil, it'll be tough to exercise enough restraint to ensure your post-dining slumber won't be filled with nightmarish meat-sweats.
But, heed the wisdom of UB40, and know that red, red, wine—like the abundant Chiantis, Brunellos, Sangioveses and Barbarescos that fill out Piccolo's wine list—will make you feel so fine. Thankfully, the libations are the one spot where the cheese doesn't mix with class, because while Reunite may go well with ice, it just ain't that nice.
Average cost: $21-$30
Centerstage Reviewer: Michael Nagrant