We are told, by a source very close to the project, that a high-end Italian restaurant drawing on the cuisine of Emilia-Romagna is in the works for Williamsburg. It’s still a few months out, but the place has a proud pedigree: The chef will be Giancarlo Quaddalti, whose elemental regional Italian cooking has earned neighborhood followings at midtown’s Teodora, the Upper West Side’s Celeste, and the East Village’s Bianca. Our source, an Italian national with only a slippery grasp of Williamsburg geography, tells us that it will be on Grand Street just off Bedford, but an exact address was asking too much.
There’s definitely a market in Williamsburg for a high-end Italian restaurant; the days of scruffy twentysomethings subsisting on tacos are pretty much over. Quaddalti is currently unreachable in Italy, but our source describes the place as — “San Domenico at half the price.” That is the part we don’t get. We could see there being room for a San Domenico in north Brooklyn. (It’s not like the residents can’t afford it, after all.) But how can there possibly be a cut-rate San Domenico? The whole idea of the Central Park South institution is to be expensive, with luxe ingredients, three-star service, and a wine list that would stretch NASA’s budget. If Quaddalti can pull this off, they ought to put him in charge of finding bin Laden.