|Baby Octopus Antipasti|
With a reasonably priced menu, this Italian restaurant is currently cash only and BYOB (with a $10 cork fee). Eventually, they’ll be accepting credit cards, but for these first few days, arrive with cash to enjoy lunch or dinner and make sure to stop by Alphabet City Wine Co. for the perfect wine to compliment your pasta or seafood.
|Orecchiette Broccoli Rabe and Sausage|
Caffe Buon Gusto is a bit of a mini-chain with locations in Brooklyn and the Upper East Side. A long two-page menu allows diners to mix and match six pastas (including linguine, gnocchi, ravioli) with five sauces (such as Bolognese, pesto). The main menu options feel a bit like a touristy dinner in Little Italy, but the warm hosts and non-standard menu specials will remind you, you’re in the East Village.
|Alaskan King Crab with Scallops over Linguina in Spicy Marinara|
Unlike the nearby Frank restaurants, with cozy, romantic atmospheres, Caffe Buon Gusto is more casual; with a large flat screen TV hanging over the bar (showing a Rangers’ game last night), while early 90’s Kenny G plays in the background. This ambiance may take you back to dinners in your parent’s living room, while Dad watched the game and Mom fussed around listening to relaxing slow jams.
Caffe Buon Gusto may not have standout dishes yet to boast about, but there is definitely something for everyone’s diet needs and tastes. From six seafood offerings for health nuts to cheesy pasta dishes to satisfy your vegetarian pals, and steak offerings for the meat lovers in your life, the wide menu options make Caffe Buon Gusto a great dinner spot for large groups and picky eaters.
Caffe Buon Gusto. 545 E. 5th Street.