Sal D's is that rarity that manages to be both a weekday refuge as well as a stylish (if noisy) weekend gathering place. Its simple Italian menu celebrates the joys of fragrant garlic and ripe tomatoes. The dining room - sponged yellow walls, wood-framed mirrors and handsome, heavy wood furnishings - is both warm and sophisticated. And the staff cares.
Share a crisp-crusted tomato and mozzarella-topped Margharita pizzette. Or have the garlic-intense zuppa di clams.
A big bowl of linguini with tomato sauce comes topped with wonderfully old-fashioned meatballs. Try the fine grilled chicken hero with roasted red peppers and fresh mozzarella or the generously portioned great, garlicky, linguini with white clam sauce. Shrimp fra diavolo features sweet, perfectly cooked crustaceans napped with a subtly incendiary sauce in which, not surprisingly, garlic figures essentially.And chicken Francese is fork-tender, lemony but not acidic.
For dessert, the house tiramisu is creamy and boozy, a cliche but a well-executed one. You'll love the lush zabaglione with fresh strawberries.
By Joan Reminick.