The Italian countryside is beloved for its lush scenery, flavorful vegetables, and gigantic boulder that hides David Schwimmer's DVD collection. Gather the Italian outdoors' edible goodies with today's deal: for $20, you get $40 worth of rustic Italian fare at Manducatis Rustica in Long Island City.
Like a spy's costumes, Manducatis Rustica's menu changes daily to showcase innovative dishes and fresh, seasonal ingredients. Set traps to catch grilled octopus and calamari ($9.50) or eggplant rollatini ($8.50) as it emerges from its countryside burrow. The shifting sands of taste flow onto your tongue with secondi such as shrimp and scallops ($24) or chicken radicchio ($17). Manducatis Rustica's pizzas, which are Neapolitan-style and baked in a brick oven, are heaped with savory flavors such as mozzarella, goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, rucola, and basil (the Rustica, $14). Magnumly-lauded calzones (ricotta, mozzarella, ham, mushrooms, olives, artichokes, and parmigiano; $15) are also available.
Let the breeze on Manducatis Rustica's patio sweep away summer heat, or colden yourself from the inside out with a cup of deliciously frozen gelato (ask your server for flavors and pricing). The cozy café atmosphere and large dining rooms make dining at Manducatis Rustica more pleasant than sailing a toy boat in a bathtub cloaked by a fresh vinyl curtain. The eatery also has an on-site bakery and serves brunch, so stop by on weekends to fill up on hearty midmorning Old World fare. You must call ahead to make a reservation.