I talked about Spanish tapas when I raved about Las Ramblas, but this time it’s Italian tapas I’m crazy for. Tucked away in NYC’s West Village, Aria Wine Bar is a brand new favorite of mine. The space is full of texture — wood beamed ceilings, rustic brick walls, and a double-sided bar done up in white subway tile — and at night it’s lit with candles and the whole place basically stinks of charm.

A nice alternative to the usual Italian sit-down, Aria serves up small plates of delicious food to share. Split a few with whoever you’re with, and I think you’ll walk away both full and happy. I went with the maccheroni al tartufo (mac and cheese with black truffles), the spicy artichokes, and they had a special the night I was there, buratta, which is something I like to describe as a cross between ricotta and mozzarella — it’s sweeter, yet rich and creamy, and goes perfectly over bruschetta.

While I thought the dishes were reasonably priced at around $10 apiece, I did think that drinks were a bit on the pricier side, although I must say, not only did they have a Pimms Cup, but they served it up deliciously. All in all, I didn’t leave unhappy in the slightest.

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