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Best Neighborhood Restaurant 

Cupini's

Who would have thought that when pasta makers Franco and Eddie Cupini teamed up with pastry chef Andrew Rowland to create a version of an Italian salumeria, selling carry-out pastas, grilled panini sandwiches and decadent desserts, they would have tapped into a niche market just begging to be discovered? Since opening as a one-room shop with a couple of tables last year, the operation has continued to expand into one additional space after another as customers have flocked to the place. There's now a cozy dining room, a patio (and, when the weather's nice, café tables on the sidewalk) and, coming soon (inside the old Westport Glass location), an Italian market and more pasta-making equipment. "If you're a midtown resident, you can always count on seeing people you know," says one devoted customer. "But if you're Italian, you can run into acquaintances from as far away as Independence!"

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