Ventuno is housed in a beautiful Greek Revivalist building (the former 21 Federal) in the heart of downtown and is run by the folks who own Straight Wharf, another dining “institution” on the Island. The restaurant has a cozy wood paneled bar that is a lively gathering place for locals and the dining rooms are small, intimate spaces on two floors.

The menu focus is on foods from the various regions of Italy, using fish and shellfish from local waters and hand-cut pastas. Gabriel Frasca and Amanda Lyon, partners in life as well as business, have created a delicious menu featuring items like roasted bone marrow, pine nuts, pickled vegetables and grilled bread, osso buco with saffron risotto and ramp gramolata and strazzapeti with braised rabbit, kale, olive, tomato and pecorino.For dessert have the bittersweet chocolate donut, pistachio gelato and chocolate sauce.

Johnny B, and Jess, two of our favorite bartenders anywhere, helm the bar and somehow remember what you drink…year to year.

Good wine list with some very interesting choices.

ROMANTIC QUOTIENT: Great space, but can be loud.

Nantucketers “can’t say enough about how fab” this seasonal Italian spot from the Straight Wharf and Provisions team is, since “every item on the menu is appetizing and the ingredients are so fresh and delicious”; they “love the atmosphere” too, with its “classic, historical” setting in an 1846 Federal Street mansion, as well as the “outstanding” service. ZAGAT