If you arrive before dark in this converted historic firehouse at the head of Southtown’s main drag, you’ll witness the gradual transformation of a fairly restrained, austere room into a red-lit, buzzy hub—if your attention isn’t riveted on your food, that is. Main courses are well-prepared versions of Italian classics like herb-crusted lamb chops and braised pork shanks, but the house-made pastas are where the kitchen really shines. Done with a light touch, they feature slightly nontraditional ingredients: A sweet corn ravioli comes with goat cheese, say, while the ricotta gnocchi is topped with squash ragu. If the food rather than the scene is your interest, come early; the buzz is literal as more and more fashionably dressed young people pour in to see and be seen at the swanky bar. Bonus: This restaurant has the rare large parking lot. The earlier you come, the easier it is to nab a spot.