In looking for a cute Italian spot with solid vegetarian options and tall glasses of wine, Tanuja and I discovered a little gem in East Village called In Vino.
The restaurant is absolutely charming: an intimate barrel-shaped room with rounded ceilings and warm-stuccoed walls.
Tanuja and I quickly got down to business by ordering glasses of wine. It was no surprise, with the name of the restaurant, that the wine list was about 10 times larger than the actual food menu.
Crusty bread was quickly served thereafter with a particularly flavorful/fruity olive oil specked with fresh cracked pepper.
For the appetizer, we shared the special of the night: a warm asparagus salad with large chunks of fresh mozzarella cheese and balsamic vinaigrette.
Perfectly grilled, fleshy yet firm, the asparagus was simply prepared but delicious.
For entrees, we shared the spaghetti primavera featuring fresh, julienned veggies and a bright marinara sauce.
And the homemade gnocchi which comes in a choice of gorgonzola/walnut sauce or marinara/mozzarella sauce. We opted for the latter and were glad that we did! Each adorably miniature potato bundle was enveloped in awesomely melted, stringy mozzarella cheese. I saved half the bowl to share with Tanuja (but could've easily eaten all of it by my stingy self!).
And of course, we made room to also share a dessert! (Sharing is caring!)
A slice of chocolate mousse cake arrived at our table, a smoky brown slice of dark chocolate. The cake was rich but not very sweet, satisfying our sweet tooth without the guilt of being overindulgent. A nice nightcap to the charming eve.
While nothing was extraordinarily notable here, this place is nothing short of adorable, offering good, fresh food and plenty of wine to help round out a delightful date or casual dinner among close friends in my favorite part of the city.
215 E 4th St
Reservations by phone 212.539.1011