It's little wonder SFR readers voted Il Piatto the city's best Italian restaurant in this year's contest. Its ambiance, service and, of course, cuisine, are deserving of accolades. A midsummer night's dinner yielded the timeless truth that there ain't nothing as good as good bread, good wine and good pasta. Il Piatto does do veggies, but its forte lies in the




and pasta portions of the menu. For example, a special appetizer that night (a blackboard of changing specials is part of the


restaurant's charm) of cool New Mexican cucumber and squash salad with peppers and cream tasted a bit drowned in the latter ingredient, while a regular item from the antipasti offerings, a grilled pizetta with barbecued octopus, pancetta and eggplant, was a show-stopper-zingy and doughy and very difficult to put down. Still on the pasta tip, it's hard to go wrong with Il Piatto's rich gnocchi or its delectable pumpkin ravioli with sage brown butter. But also consider a seafood/pasta combo such as the linguine with mussels, which includes a generous portion of the latter and many, many twirling, soupy forkfuls of homemade pasta. Il Piatto offers the full dining experience, with great recommendations on wine in both colors and, of course, apr├Ęs-meal espresso with homemade cannoli, a savory treat that combines tastes of chocolate, orange zest and pistachio.

95 W. Marcy St., 984-1091,

. Lunch Monday-Friday; dinner nightly. $-$$