Faves: Dalesandro’s

If you go to Dalesandro’s for the first time, you might think you’ve mistakenly wandered into the elegant wine bar next door. The high white walls, track lighting and framed modern artwork provide no clue that this is an Italian family restaurant. But it is. Founded by Buzz Dalesandro more than 20 years ago with the help of his restaurateur father, it’s currently run by Buzz’s son, Sonny. The food you eat is based on recipes handed down from Sonny’s great-grandmother, whose family hailed from the rugged hills of Basilicata, the arch of Italy’s boot. The dishes are lusty, exuberant, Italian-American fare: a six-layer lasagna made with goat’s milk ricotta as well as mozzarella, linguine with fresh tomatoes and basil. The food is robust, hearty and perfectly prepared, and the portions are enormous. The Pollo Arrosto con Capellini features half of a four-pound chicken along with the angel-hair pasta. Regulars know to stop by Friday or Saturday for the weekend special of Swordfish Piccata. The fish, breaded and sautéed in butter, sits atop capellini and comes with a sprightly lemon-caper sauce. It’s just like Grandma’s cooking – if Grandma is a top-notch chef. www.dalesandros.com