Salad Stands Its Ground

L'Apicio treats salad right

Salads, put yourselves on winter-ready notice.

We know how you vegetable types like to duck into the warmer climes of casseroles and hot ovens come cold weather. But there will be none of that behavior at Gabe Thompson and Joe Campanale's newest venture, the Bowery-adjacent L'Apicio.

Along with that Campanale special–an insanely well-rounded and interesting cocktail, beer (and especially) wine list–L'Apicio boasts a kicking salad menu that had us eagerly filling up before we made it to the loops of calamarata pasta with its equally loopy, delicious ragu of calamari, chiles and garlic ($18).

There are long leaves of endive, grilled and plated simply with radicchio, chile flakes, mint, lemon and pecorino ($12), and watercress with carrots both roasted and raw, studs of avocado and a swipe of cumin yogurt ($13).

Even fruit gets in on the game with a pomegranate, Cara Cara orange and fennel take ($14).

Our favorite is the warm grain salad of fregola with charred octopus ($18). Highlighted with oregano and fried strips of Salumeria Biellese pepperoni, it's a flavor-mash take on pizza.

Thompson calls himself a "huge salad guy," and his efforts could convert any produce hater, even in the dead of winter.

L'Apicio, 13 E. First St. (between Bowery and Second Ave.); 212-533-7400 or lapicio.com