December 3, 2001 | Ask Gael
We want to eat light before or after theater

        Remi's luscious new cichetti platter (pictured) is just enough to mute hunger rumbles before or after the show. Cichetti, the small snacks served in the wine bars of Venice, are some of the best bites in a town not celebrated for triumphs of the table. That may explain why till now chef Francesco Antonucci paid so little mind to his heritage. Not that I haven't always rated Remi a top Italian, but suddenly the food is better than ever. And Antonucci's nostalgia glorifies these Venetian tapas. A flotilla of savory classics come in small square dishes like patchwork on a footed platter -- sweet-and-sour Dover sole; La Serenissima's famous cod mousse; zesty octopus; remarkable seviche of whitebait; smoked eel; cuttlefish tarted up in its own ink; eggplant, of course; meatballs; and prosciutto in a fried Parmesan basket. $12 per person.

Remi 145 West 53rd Street, 212 581 4242

Patina Restaurant Group