Well, I kinda sorta made it to Inoteca last weekend by way of 'ino, its little sister/brother who lives on Bedford Street. 'ino is an itty bitty wine bar and cafe featuring an Italian wine list, antipasti, paninis, salads, and tramezzini. We stopped by late Sunday afternoon for a small bite and a glass (or three) of wine and were happy with the cozy experience. Yes, it's tight so go with people you like and be prepared to get semi-involved with the conversations happening next to you (i.e. a middle aged woman confiding in her friend to try and "decode" an invitation to Paris from a man: "are we sharing a room or booking separate? is he into me romantically? what does this all mean?" OHH the trials and tribulations of being a girl.)
That said, I wouldn't recommend 'ino as a first date kind of place; more like a third, fourth, or fifth (hats off) date place or a spot to catch up with a good friend. Good food (we split the fennel and arugula salad, the cacciatorini, red onion and tomato tramezzini, and the soppressata, fontina and rucola panini), good wine (half bottle of verdicchio, half bottle of sangiovese) and an intimate, cozy atmosphere all add up to a totally decent experience.
21 bedford st.