‘Times’ Building Gets Restaurant, Staffers Get Bar

The new restaurant will be to the left, overlooking these nice trees. Photo: Nic Lehoux

The next restaurant at the base of the New York Times building promises to bring a brace of Milanese swagger to the tower’s inner lobby. Montenapo by BiCE, run by the 80-year-old upscale chain and named for a Milan street full of fashion-design firms, faces architect Renzo Piano’s inner birch-tree courtyard and expects to cater parties in the ballroom space under the building’s auditorium. And while the name may evoke the rag trade, interior designer Studio A is charged with crossbreeding garden-gazing and table-hopping. But a mod look will not necessarily translate to faddish food. “I can’t do anything better than Italian food,” says BiCE CEO Roberto Ruggeri. “Call it northern Gallian classica with influences from American bistro.”

He promises a “casual, elegant” approach to the BiCE formula, with prices a fifth less than what you pay at BiCE’s East 54th Street flagship. “It will be more modern than the usual Italian restaurant, so you can come just for a beautiful salad or appetizer,” Ruggeri says. “But we are not serving small plates or tapas or things like that.” And the best news of all for Times employees? “We have a large bar that is going to be open all day,” Ruggeri promises. “We are in a very active building, so I’m sure there will be an active bar life.” We welcome the return of the hard-drinking, hard-boiled beat reporter. —Alec Appelbaum

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