A meal at Il Piatto is like a trip to some marvelous, imaginary village where the locals muse their way through rich Italian fare served by hipsters. Exuding warmth and romance and brimming with curios, it's a world far away from Portland's many sleek, hurried bistros. Though the food has grown less consistent over the years, much of the menu is bound to please for the price. Appetizers work wonders, particularly the fritelle di fromaggio di Capra, a goat cheese and date fritter that blossoms in the mouth; intensely flavorful beef carpaccio; and crespelle alla ricotta in an adventurous smoked-pear crème fraîche. The gnocchi may drown helplessly in an overly sweet, oily sauce, but saltimbocca—prepared with pork instead of veal—comes off nicely. The smoked-salmon ravioli rarely disappoints, and simple cobblers, tortas and cakes provide a lovely finish to a languorous evening. (TLB)