Walking through NoLiTa today, it’s hard to imagine the area once wasn’t filled with models, cocktail bars and fancy restaurants. But more than ten years ago when Epistrophy opened almost none of those places existed. Epistrophy was the cool neighborhood spot for a neighborhood that wasn’t yet cool. And even today while many of it’s neighbors get most of the buzz, it remains a great local place for a casual Italian meal at a reasonable price.
The name Epistrophy refers to a jazz standard regarded as the “first classic modern jazz composition.” The restaurant hosts jazz acts on Sunday nights but the rest of the time is more of an all day cafe. It’s a small, rustic space I could happily hang out in all day for a coffee and a bite then bring a date to at night (I’m a lazy man). Their brunch features classics like banana bread, ricotta pancakes and avocado toast. Lunch and dinner follow the owners Sardinian heritage with plenty of pasta and anti-pasta along with a nice selection of salads and mains. It’s people pleasing food and it’s hard to imagine anyone not enjoying a visit here. Here’s what I tried at a recent lunch:
Right Amount for 2? App, 2 entrees
Note: I was invited as a guest of the establishment and received a complimentary meal. This was not in exchange for a positive review and opinions expressed are my own.
200 Mott Street (Spring & Kenmare Sts.)
New York, NY