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Jonathan Gold finds Kettle Black's eccentric Italian illuminating. Try the octopus salad.

Jonathan Gold finds Kettle Black's eccentric Italian illuminating. Try the octopus salad.

How many Edison bulbs hang from the ceiling at Kettle Black? So many Edison bulbs. I got to the mid-70s the night I counted — there are more — but I got distracted by the 17-foot-high back bar, the weathered wood floor and the industrial-steel undercarriage of the stools. The restaurant occupies a former bank, and you don’t even have to ask if the heavy metal of the vault is still in evidence. The pocket patio out front is low on Edison bulbs. Its wall bristles with potted spiky plants instead.

There are also, as you might have guessed, tiny potted succulents on each table. The warning signs of gentrification are sometimes hard to spot, but spiky...

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