Sole di Capri

photo by Bradley Hawks

On a nondescript stretch of Church Street in Tribeca, this petite Italian restaurant, run by Ecuador-born, Piedmont-raised-and-trained chef Eddy Erazo, offers tremendous value. Crowds swarm Sole di Capri’s dining room at lunch to sup on outstanding pastas and sumptuous vegetable preparations (like zucchini whipped into a velvety purée or roasted and tossed onto an antipasto plate). From a kitchen the size of a bus stop, Erazo flexes his muscles most at night, when patrons are treated to fish and meat entrées like local striped bass and the occasional veal chop. The chef’s desserts are not to be missed, from crunchy biscotti that soak up espresso like a sponge to traditional Italian desserts like pastiera, a soft cake cooked with bulgur wheat, ricotta, and candied fruit. If you need to freshen up, you’ll have to walk up a spiral staircase to reach the bathroom on the other side of the dishwasher, who buffs dinnerware from a cramped terrace. Return to your table and look around the tiled dining room — you’ll feel miles away from downtown Manhattan.