L’Apicio 13 E. 1st St. @ Bowery
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If you wanted “rustic,” you probably wouldn’t live in Manhattan, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still dine that way. From the team behind similar West Village spots Dell’Anima and L’Artusi (the apostrophes let you know they’re legit) comes another “old world” rustic Italian joint, this time with a focus on polenta. There’s a braised oxtail version ($24), a broccoli rabe one ($18), and even a rock shrimp option ($25). For the less polenta-inclined, there’s plenty o’ pastas ($14-$22) and proteins from “pesce” to “carne.” The spot also has a beefy list of 250+ American and Italian wines organized so one can wage their own battle between Old and New World favorites. That’s a drinking battle you’re always going to win.