Hours: Dinner: Sunday, Tuesday-Saturday
Open late: Friday & Saturday till 11
Classic Italian trattoria.
Tucked between France (Bistro Campagne) and Ireland (the Grafton) on Lincoln Avenue, Massimo Di Vuolo's cozy Due Lire Vino & Cucina occupies a low-slung, dark-timbered room as evocative of a Japanese teahouse as it is an osteria. And once we tucked into the food, that made sense. From the involtini Napoli appetizer to the short rib ravioli, Due Lire's food seems inspired by a very Japanese clarity of flavor and presentation. In that involtini, for example, fresh, unadulterated eggplant and shredded zucchini more than held their own against the strong cheese, each forkful a dense study in balance. Ridiculously rich ravioli—complex layers of meat, pasta, and Parmigiano glazed with porcini mushroom sauce—is reasonably portioned and not overwhelmingly heavy despite loads of butter. Strong, oily mackerel, ever a challenge, materialized as two pan-seared fillets atop a bed of Israeli couscous a la puttanesca, the capers, olives, and onions providing a stern rebuke to the main event. There's an all-Italian wine list with most bottles $30 or less, or you can BYO for a corkage fee of $20 (there's a limit of two per table). Read the full review >>
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