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Transit: L train to 3rd Avenue and 6 train to Astor Place.
Description: Consistently excellent, this East Village gem is known for innovation and excellence in Roman cuisine. While Chef Salvatore Corea creates a seasonal menu, partners Alessandro Peluso and Giusto Priola note that Cacio e Pepe remains faithful to its signature namesake dish: home-made pasta brought to your table and spun in a wheel of pecorino cheese, then dusted with a flourish of pepper. Voted a ‘Critic’s Pick’ by New York Magazine, Cacio e Pepe is celebrated by reviewers as a classic Italian restaurant with a sense of style: A 50-seat garden is set behind the main dining room, there is al-fresco dining out front, and waiters with superior wine knowledge help you select the perfect beverage accompaniment to your meal. The mystery remains whether it is the garden, the cuisine, or the service which lifts Cacio e Pepe above and beyond its peers on the NYC restaurant scene. The answer, however, may best be expressed in French: It has that je ne se qua.