Antipasti is what it’s all about at Caffe Mingo’s more affordable, less formal, sexier next-door neighbor, Bar Mingo. Ten-plus generously proportioned small plates feature everything from fresh discs of pillowy chèvre in a spicy tomato sauce, served with bruschetta, to sautéed fresh-from-the-sea calamari with scallions, garlic, lemon and parsley to big, brawny lamb meatballs that fall apart at first touch, drenched in a punchy mint-and-oregano red sauce. There’s also flat-iron steak with onion rings, smoked-trout salad in a citrus vinaigrette and the catch of the day for one-plate people. Bar Mingo’s complimentary bread service with a mini pitcher of oil and kosher salt is crucial, since there are lots of tasty sauces to sop up.
Order this: Housemade tonnarelli pasta with Manila clams, pancetta, chiles, garlic and parsley.
Best deal: Three antipasti for $21. (Otherwise they’re $8 each.)
I’ll pass: On the disjointed decor and artwork.