There have been more column inches devoted to everything else about Bruno, the tiny new East Village spot, rathern than the food. And on a recent Saturday night, we found plenty of idiosyncrasies to distract from it — our waiter was so new that he couldn’t recommend a dry red wine from a modest list, the lack of anything sound-absorbing made conversation difficult, and yes, we want our entrees at the same time, this is not tapas.

The much-hyped pizza, ordered by two out of three at our table, was underwhelming in both cases. Fermented tomatoes are a nice idea, but the salt overwhelmed any other flavor on the margherita, and while country ham and pear are a lovely combo idea, it required rearranging the toppings to get both in every bite, and you still ended up with a mouthful of mush. The crust, meanwhile, had none of the char or crunch that make it worth the calories.

What it was good for, however, was sopping up the remainder of my pasta dish of gigantic, perfectly al dente cavatappi lapped with bone marrow, dotted with clams and bacon that punctuated each rich bite with smoky-sweetness. If you had a rough week, this is your dish; pair it with the chianti and you may just have the strength needed to face the world again on Monday.

Open for dinner starting at 6 p.m.
204 E. 13th St.