The four restaurateurs who own this gem really know what they're doing. Step inside and you feel as if you've been transported to a happening eatery in SoHo or Milan. The air seems to caress your skin, and the low-key background music soothes your tired gray matter. Then you are greeted by one of the charismatic owners or the stunning hostess, who seems to have materialized from the cover of Vogue. When you open the menu, you are astonished that this cozy spot in Calle Ocho's hopping (yes, we're calling it now) cultural district offers gourmet delicacies such as pear and Gorgonzola ravioli ($16.95) and a creamy polenta ($10.95) with homemade Bolognese sauce, fresh mozzarella, sautéed mushrooms, and white truffle oil. Choose from the succulent three-hour beef short ribs ($24.95), the seafood mixed grill with scallops the size of a 5-year-old's fists ($27.95), or the three-hour lamb osso buco, served with one of the most satisfying mushroom risottos you will find anywhere in the city ($25.95). Before you order any of these, though, consider appetizers such as the wood slab with cheese, cold meats, and olives ($15.95) and what might be the most tantalizing ceviche ($10.95) this side of the Keys. And while you are waiting, indulge in one of Catharsis's signature cocktails — such as a delusion martini ($10) or a refreshing mango mojito made with fresh mango juice ($10) — or maybe a bottle of vino from Italy, Spain, Argentina, Chile, France, California, or Oregon ($29 to $90). Take advantage of Calle Ocho's free parking after 6 p.m., enjoy the European vibe, and make a night of it by walking to the nearby Tower Theater to catch a foreign flick. Dining at Catharsis is like going away on a minivacation without the TSA strip search.