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Crispo is an easily overlooked trattoria on 14th Street, on the border between Chelsea and the West Village. The chef, Frank Crispo, worked at La Côte Basque, among other places. There is an attractive outdoor dining space, a handsome bar, and plenty of indoor seating. The restaurant has received its fair share of good press since it opened in 2002, although the Times has never formally reviewed it.

For a restaurant of its kind, prices are quite reasonable. Appetizers, salads and antipasti are $6.50–15.00, pastas are $17.50–19.00, mains are $17.50–25.00. I ordered the pork shank “fra diavolo,” a most impressive production. It was an enormous hunk of flesh, braised to a point of tenderness where the knife was almost unnecessary.

I was there with three friends, and frankly we were so engrossed in conversation that I forgot to ask how everyone liked their food. But if the rest of the menu is as good as the pork shank “fra diavolo,” Crispo is doing very well indeed.

Crispo (240 West 14th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, Chelsea)

Food: ★
Service: ★
Ambiance: ★½
Overall: ★

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