We caught Pulino's in an easy-going, sunny mood today, the airy room full and bustling but not packed, the windows flung open to the street. It's no surprise that it's a beautifully decorated, skillfully created place--Keith McNally excels at fashioning restaurants you want to hang out in. If the restaurateur heralds gentrification--possibly indirectly responsible for rising area rents--well, at least he does it with panache.
Pulino's gamberi pizza: rock shrimp, bits of speck, fennel, and garlic
We stopped in for three dishes, not enough to judge a restaurant on, but sufficient to convince us that a very tasty lunch can be had there. The nduja ($10), above, is a homemade version of the spreadable Calabrian sausage, a mash of pork, pork fat, and red pepper drizzled with olive oil. Mounted on grilled bread, it just needed a sprinkle of salt (provided) to satisfy.
Ahead, the pizza...