Keep to the classics or try a modern Italian twist with this three course feast + a bottle of vino
Giano is the sort of East Village secret that those in the know guard closely. It's a restaurant you find only once it's been recommended by your closest friends, or because you stepped in, by chance, on one of those rare nights when the city lets everything go your way. Designed to showcase both a traditional and modern approach to Italian cuisine, Giano does the duality like no other: chef Matteo is as skilled with lasagna bolognese as he is with balsamic glazed filet mignon (served with basil mashed potatoes, AKA the finest thing ever done to a standard starch). Whether you choose to look forward or back, your meal will be a love letter to the best of Italy, and your new favorite reason to live in New York.
You first get a hint of Giano's dual-minded mission at the door, where you encounter the two faces of the Roman god Janus. From there, even the dining room incorporates the split. Up front, the decor has a modern bent, but continue out towards the garden and you'll ease into elegant rusticity. Given the scope of the Scoutmob feast you've got coming, you and your date can play out both sides over three full courses. For your two antipasto or salads, think polenta e funghi or polpette al pomodoro gratinate (grass-fed beef meatballs); let your entrees capture the classic (traditional gnocchi ai 4 formaggi) and the innovative (seriously, someone order the basil mashed potatoes). The finale? You can take your pick of desserts old and new, but remember: Tiramisu is always the right answer.
It's all built to match your bottle of winejust choose from Giano's house red or white, then settle in for the East Village's most delicious take on time travel.