The cuisine of central and southern Italy takes center stage at this postage stamp of a restaurant (only about 20 seats) at the edge of the Old Port, where the ever-changing menu skews fresh and rustic: chef Damian Sansonetti plates up cavatelli with lamb neck ragout, grilled swordfish with beans and salsa verde, and other dishes his mom and grandma once made. Pastry chef Ilma Lopez is one of Portland’s hottest culinary talents, and her airy Italian donut holes, called zeppole, are a highlight. The tasting menu on Sunday nights is as fun and daring as the tiny room is social—there’s one 6:30 seating, and reservations are a must. At once cozy and sumptuous, Piccolo is my pick for the best date night in Portland.