The area around Madison Square Garden is a restaurant wasteland with the rare sparkling exception of Lugo Caffé, founded by an Italian menswear line. Locals rejoiced at the introduction of this spacious Italian "brasserie" offering comfort food with a Dolce Vita twist all day long. Stop by for an espresso and pastry in the morning. Later, a single menu presents lunch, aperitivo, and dinner options, which include grazing portions of salumi, cheeses, and vegetable
dishes like eggplant caponata, Tuscan bean salad, and grilled zucchini with pine nuts. Fuller meals of Neapolitan-style pizzas, house-made pastas, and grilled meats and fish also are commendable.