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Routinely packed at dinner despite a limited reservations policy. The décor is upscale basement (concrete walls, bare-bulb-styled fixtures, moulded-wood chairs), but the food is traditional northern Italian with touches of local inventiveness. Fried garbanzo beans, or ceci, are a favourite to start. A nice selection of pizzas and pastas (all under $20), and a few carefully chosen mains for not much more. The changing side dishes are inspired. Behind the main room is a small bar and a few tables, fun for watching games on the TV or clustering with a group.

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