Both flatbread and fritto misto star on the menu at , a nearly 5-year-old restaurant at 881 Fourth Street. Since it opened, it has been one of my favorite places to get edgy, distinctively flavored Italian dishes in an urbane, sophisticated atmosphere.
Chef Ed Vigil, known for his use of organic ingredients, has headed the kitchen for a year. His flatbread is textbook perfect: a thin crust that crackles when it’s fresh from the flame-lined oven. Toppings are painted on with lavish strokes of flavor, such as a mix of spiced sausage nubbins with olives, capers, roasted garlic and three types of grated cheese ($14). A milder flatbread is no less sensuous, as it's laden with roasted tomatoes, roasted garlic, house made burrata melted into creamy puddles and fresh herbs ($10). One of the most unusual flatbread is a raft for a roasted egg gleaming with white truffle oil over pancetta, creamy leeks and Crescenza cheese ($14).
As for the fritto misto ($14), it could be a meal in itself because it’s a generous serving. Snippets of calamari and clams, artichoke hearts, batons of carrot and wafer-thin parsnip circles are battered in the most delicate coating, then deep-fried until each piece is bronzed and greaseless. This combo is accompanied by lemon aioli, roasted pepper slices and a couple of olives. I love the crunch, the fact that the breading boasts just the right amount of salt and that the crumbly-addictive texture goes so beautifully with a glass of Italian wine, in particular prosecco, my favorite viniferous tipple.
Vin Antico is at 881 Fourth Street, 444-4492, www.vintantico.com. Open for lunch Tuesday to Friday and dinner Tuesday through Sunday. Reservations recommended for dinner.