5205 N.E. 2nd Ave.
AWARD: Robert Tolf Award
Subtle hand-crafted Italian in a 24-seater in Little Haiti next to a laundromat. The chefs met at NYC’s Eleven Madison Park and NoMad and turned their big-city chops to a taco cart and now a tiny restaurant of their own. A valiant and delicious show of smarts in these times: Luciana Giangrandi and Alex Meyer make tomato-rubbed lamb rib with peaches, wild mushrooms with soft egg, clams and ‘nduja, or tonnato on beef carpaccio instead of veal; daily hand-made pasta from tagliatelle with rabbit to green pea garganelli. Plus, they opened their larder to sell home cooks the ingredients they work with, like house muffuletta sauce, Green Goddess dressing, pastas and small estate wines. Boia de! is an exclamation of amazement in dialect heard in Livorno, and this fresh taste and thinking deserves one.