The first time I went to L'Artusi, a few years ago, I stumbled into it with a friend with no reservations, and we were kindly accomodated (even though there's usually a several-week wait for a table.) The second time I went with a friend and we sat at the counter. I wound up bonding with several staff members over a shared love of college basketball, and the rest is history. I've been back many times since, and the food and service have been consistently awesome. The pasta is always perfectly al dente, the cocktail selections delicious and varied, and the service friendly and attentive. It's one of those places that is exclusive, yet warm and welcoming. I recently talked my office mates into having our yearly holiday party there, and everyone was beyond pleased with the results. Do yourself a favor and go here. It's not the cheapest restaurant in the city, but it's nowhere near the most expensive, either. The entrees in some cases are a little small for some, but the sides are a healthy size and delicious. And you want a wine list? Try a wine BINDER. There's something for every palate here. And while I've never been overly impressed with the desserts in Italian restaurants (I confess to being from a land where the desserts are less fancy and more lard- and sugar-based), the hazelnut chocolate torta nearly changed my life. And I don't even LIKE hazelnut. So there you go.