If you need reason to head downtown from your Harlem digs next week, Tarallucci e Vino, the group of casual and elegant Italian restaurants, is opening its fifth location in Manhattan’s NoMad (“NOrth of MADison Square Park”) neighborhood on Monday, August 15th, 2016. Located at 44 East 28th Street in a stunning new luxury residential building from Pritzker Prize-winning architect Christian de Portzamparc, the new restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner daily and offer prime outdoor seating in one of the city’s hottest neighborhoods. The restaurant group’s culinary team is lead by its new Executive Chef, Cara Hermanson, who was formerly a Sous Chef under Justin Smillie at both Upland and il Buco Alimentari e Vineria. Joining her in the kitchen will be Chef de Cuisine Francesco Gallo, formerly of A Voce. Tarallucci e Vino is known for its house-made pastries, exceptional Italian coffees, fresh pastas, carefully curated wines and aperitivi, and locally inspired Italian plates.
Chef Hermanson embraces ingredient-driven cooking that she has refined after many years of working at some of NYC’s best Italian restaurants, as well as in Rome. She will be introducing several new dishes, in keeping with the restaurants’ seasonally-inspired focus, with many ingredients sourced from the Union Square Greenmarket and many other local purveyors and farms. New dishes include Frutti di Mare with smoked mussels, octopus, cuttlefish, pickled mushrooms and Castelvetrano olives; Roasted Prawns with Calabrian chilis, roasted peppers, rouille and garlic croutons; a decadent Paccheri Carbonara with crispy pancetta, eggs and parmesan cheese offered at brunch; and silky Lemon Verbena Panna Cotta with summer peaches and micro sambuca. The menu will also include Tarallucci e Vino Abruzzese classics like Fregnacce with Braised Duck Ragu (sheets of fresh pasta filled with braised meat sauce) and Screppelle M’busse (egg crepes in broth).
Tarallucci e Vino has been a beloved New York fixture since 2001 when Luca Di Pietro, a native of Abruzzo, Italy, set out to create an inviting gathering place that embodied the ease and casual elegance of Italy’s bar and café culture. After establishing the original East Village location, he went on to open restaurants in Union Square, the Upper West Side, and the cafe in the Cooper Hewitt Museum. Each boasts a unique menu, personality and atmosphere that complements its neighborhood, and honors the inspirational famous Italian saying, “tutto finisce a tarallucci e vino,” meaning that any matter can be resolved over a glass of wine and tarallucci, the classic round Italian cookie.
“We’re thrilled to open our newest restaurant in this stunning architectural gem,” says owner Luca Di Pietro. “NoMad has undergone so much change over the past several years and has become such a fun and vibrant community. We are excited to be part of its growth and want to offer our neighbors a warm and inviting place where they can come together, unwind and enjoy our delicious food and wine.”
The new restaurant offers a notable Italian wine program focused on small batch and family-run labels, often made from lesser-known varietals and many unique to Tarallucci e Vino. Wine Director and Partner Lorenzo Baricca highlights a mix of well known producers and vintages of Barolo and Amarone, as well as hard to find producers of Spergola and Pecorino, among many others. The wine program features one of the most extensive selections of Lambrusco in New York City from Baricca’s native Emilia Romagna region. To complement the wine list, Baricca has curated an equally impressive list of craft beers, many from Italy, and classic aperitivi such as Aperol Spritz and Lambrusco Spritz — and signature drinks like the Negroni Sbagliato with Campari, Punt e Mes, Prosecco, and Orange. Tarallucci e Vino also hosts frequent wine dinners at their Union Square restaurant’s Mezzanine and Upper West Side location, inviting producers whom Baricca has met during his many sourcing trips to Italy.
The new 1,200 square foot space, with seating for 70 including the bar, was thoughtfully imagined by NY-based interior design consultant Sarah Abdallah, whose former projects include the New York and Los Angeles Neuehouse locations (the private membership workspace), the lobby and lobby restaurant/bar at the New York Edition Hotel, and renovations of the SoHo and Tribeca Grand Hotels. Abdallah teamed up with architects Michael Siporin and Michael McNeil on the new NoMad location. The trio envisioned a space that honored de Portzamparc’s inspired building design – a modern, glass, luxury residential tower – while also embracing Tarallucci e Vino’s inviting and rustic aesthetic. De Portzamparc, winner of the Pritzker Prize in 1994, has designed celebrated buildings around the world including New York City’s LVMH Tower and One57 building. As a result, the space juxtaposes modern and traditional design elements from its sleek interior columns and concrete floors to its warm, walnut-stained tables and brown leather banquettes.
The restaurant has an open and welcoming feel with 14-foot high ceilings, large floor-to ceiling windows, and light wood-slatted walls. A 16-seat bar with hand-painted tiles serves as the centerpiece of the space, illuminated by a stunning 17-globed light fixture handcrafted by Williamsburg-based artist Avi Kendi. A custom wood library complements the bar and features the restaurant’s expansive wine collection. Additional design elements include iconic Merano chairs from Ton designed by Alex Gufler and vibrant Talocci-designed orange chairs from Italy for the 48-seat outdoor patio.
In addition to their breakfast, lunch and dinner menus available in the dining room, bar and outdoor patio, the NoMad location will offer a Happy Hour from 4-7pm Monday-Friday at the bar featuring an Italian-focused cocktail menu, 30 wines by the glass and small Italian plates. Their beloved selection of homemade pastries, famous biscotti and tarallucci and Italian coffees will also be available.
Tarallucci e Vino NoMad , 44 East 28th Street (between Park and Madison) , New York, NY 10016, 212.779-1110, www.taralluccievino.net
Photo credit: 1) Outisde the Tarallucci e Vino . 2) In front of bar 3) Risotto al Pomodoro with cherry tomatoes, mussels & pecorino by Giada Paoloni. 4) Blistered Shishito Peppers with Maldon. 5) In front of eating area.