You might call this the Italian version of the überpopular Indian spot Rasika, and you'd be correctly noting the modernist fingerprints of local impresario Ashok Bajaj. The 120-seat dining room, decorated in Bajaj's favored spare tones and metallic accents, specializes in hearty Florence-inspired cuisine dished out by uncommonly attentive and knowledgeable servers. In a city where Italian spots too often hit obvious notes such as brick-oven pizzas, celebrity customers
such as Claire Danes can try presentations such as crispy duck breast with kumquats and blue crab served atop linguine colored jet-black by squid ink. The surroundings may be rich, but the ample portions and sensible offerings such as the $27 three-course lunch make for a recession-friendly splurge.