The pair from Mulino a Vino lands on Greenwich

If you can make people feel welcome, comfortable and cared for on day three, without seeming to sweat, you’re doing something right in the restaurant business. The staff at the brand-new MAV Soho, at 525 Greenwich St. between Spring and Vandam, seems like they’ve been at it for years. And for me, simple folk who’s just as happy at a place with crayons on the table and beer on tap, if fancy is friendly, I can take it.

It’s a short walk over the Canal Street border to the Hotel Hugo, where the restaurant takes up much of the first floor (the hotel lobby is hidden in the back). The dining room, with its glossy art deco décor, includes a private room with a vertical plant wall – from a distance it looks like a backyard garden. With turquoise lacquer tables, velvet chairs and gold chargers, the place is pretty festive, but stops short at tacky. The two of us were tucked in the corner at a perfectly-sized round table for four (I have a real problem with tables that are too big to talk across); meanwhile there was a party of 12 at a huge table and banquet right across from us that somehow didn’t drown us out.

The last venture of the owner and chef – Paolo Meregelli and Massimiliano Eandi — was Mulino a Vino on West 14th Street. The food in this iteration is inventive and not terribly priced given my expectations – with two courses each and a half carafe of wine, we were out of there for $133 plus tip. Our favorite was the especially flavorful polenta with cod and mushrooms, which my friend Robin said reminded her of the farina her mother made her as a kid in New Jersey. This was a compliment.

The wine list has 100-plus bottles ranging from $40 to $120 for the most part, with a few outliers in the $200+ range. It’s organized by texture and flavor, then broken out by color: smooth and velvety; clean and earthy; bright and lively; big; legendary (that’s when you pay the big bucks). But the best part is you can order a bottle, a carafe or a quarter bottle; the idea, our sommelier said, is to sample the list and not feel you have to commit.

While you’re there, don’t miss the hotel’s rooftop bar, which has killer floor-to-ceiling views east and west, looking down on the Department of Sanitation’s garage designed by downtown architect Claire Weisz and Dattner Architects.

Oh, and there’s free candy.