L’Impero to Close, Reopen As Convivio


L'Impero in its current, castle-like incarnation.Photo: Shanna Ravindra

LImpero, Michael White and Chris Cannons Tudor City counterpart to Alto, is about to get a major makeover. When the restaurant closes on June 29, it will reopen in mid-July as Convivio. Were going to have even more of a focus on Southern Italian cooking, says chef-owner White. Its going to be serious food in a much more casual atmosphere small plates, a $59 prix fixe four-course dinner, and a design thats much less formal that LImpero currently is. A new menu and image will help the duo make a clean break from LImperos former identity as Scott Conants flagship. White has been cooking some of the citys most adventurous Italian food, and with Conant doing his thing over at Scarpetta, theres no reason LImpero should keep its name or its fuddy-duddy dining room. The change also invites the possibility of a rereview from Frank Bruni, who gave L'Impero only two stars on his last visit.