Tasca, Alen Lin, 8/23/07
Because it's time to start thinking about dinner, we bring you Tasca, the little wine bar that's nearly overshadowed by A.O.C. but shouln't be. It's not new---just a year old---but definitely high on Eater's must list. No pretensions, high-design or trends here, just a straight-forward, one-room space with a large bar and comfortable banquettes (the chairs are another story). The chef and staff don't try too hard, and yet get it all right. The menu is "small plates," but some are fairly substantial with French and Spanish influences, and maybe a little Italian for good measure (the arancini are killer, as are the moules et frites). Quarters are tight, it can get loud, but that's part of the energy. It's not super expensive either: Several shared plates, a few glasses of wine, and you can easily get out for less than $100 for two. There should be a Tasca in every neighborhood (especially ours).