La Carbonara Will Soon Serve $15-and-Under Italian Near the Meatpacking

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Photo: The old tenant.

The shuttering of Due Amici isn’t the only change on West 14th Street. Primitivo has been taken over by the New York City Restaurant Group, which operates Nero nearby as well as fifteen other restaurants, and on March 16 it will reopen as La Carbonara, a traditional Italian spot where entrées will be $15 and under and bottles of wine will mostly be under $20. “I’m serving food at prices I was doing fifteen years ago!” says co-owner Enrico Malta.

Malta and his brother Bobby have given a piece of the restaurant to Giuliano Matarese, who worked as a sous-chef at Aureole before becoming the head toque at Nero. Matarese had a reputation for being a little foam-happy at another one of the restaurants, Tre, but he’s going very much back to the basics here, serving staples like spaghetti carbonara and rabbit cacciatore. The dining room will have a rustic look (wood-plank floors, antique lighting, chairs with straw seats), and at the bar, you’ll be able to order a Scorpion (lemon sorbet, vodka, champagne, and raspberry sauce).

So how are the Malta brothers’ other restaurants doing? “In the ones that are very reasonably priced I see more of the suits that used to go to the higher restaurants,” says Enrico. “The ones that were a little higher priced, I’m adjusting the prices right now.” Here’s the dinner menu — lunch will launch soon after.

Antipasto
Organic Lentil Soup Drizzled with White Truffle Oil 6.95

Stracciatella Tortellini Soup, Egg Drop and Spinach 6.95

Seasonal Organic Mixed Green Salad in a Balsamic Vinaigrette 5.95

Fennel, Arugula and Radicchio Salad with Grana Padano and Lemon Vinaigrette 6.95

Oven-Baked Leeks with Goat Cheese au Gratin 7.95

Salmon Tartar with Cucumbers, Capers and Dijon Mustard 8.50

Baby Spinach, Crispy Bacon, Portobello Mushrooms and Gorgonzola Ch eese 7.95

Buffalo Mozzarella, Roasted Red Peppers, Basil and Extra Virgin Olive Oil 9.95

Traditional Oven-baked Eggplants with Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil 6.95

Steamed Black Mussels in a White Wine and Black Pepper Broth 7.95

Fried Calamari with House Dipping Sauce 8.50

Grilled Baby Octopus with Chickpeas, Celery and Cerignola Olives 9.95


Pasta
Spaghetti, Garlic, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Crushed Peperoncino Pepper 8.50

Spaghettini, Zucchini, Mint and Garlic 8.95

Spaghetti Carbonara, Pancetta, Eggs and Pecorino Romano Che ese 9.95

Penne, Braised Cauliflower, Gaeta Olives, Pecorino Cheese and Toasted Bread Crumbs 8.95

Pappardelle alla “Bolognese” Country Meat Sauce 9.50

Orecchiette. Broccoli Rabe, Sweet Italian Sausage and Cherry Tomato 9.95

Rigatoni, Eggplants, Tomato, Basil and Fresh Ricotta 9.95

Farfalle with Salmon and Peas in a Vodka Sauce 9.95

Spaghetti with Meat Balls 9.50

Linguine Clams, Garlic and Cherry Tomatoes 9.95

Meat Tortellini in a Cream Sauce with Peas, Prosciutto and Mushrooms 9.95

Trenette, Basil Pesto, Diced Potatoes and French Beans 9.50

Tagliatelle, Shrimp, Arugula and Cherry Tomatoes 9.95


Main
Chicken Paillard with Arugula and Red Onion in a Lemon Vinaigrette 11.50

Grilled Mixed Sweet and Spicy Sausages with Broccoli Rabe and Organic Butter Beans 11.95

Chicken Parmigiana with Spaghetti al Pomodoro 12.50

Pork Scaloppine "Saltimbocca" with Prosciutto, Spinach and Roasted Potatoes 13.95

Pan-Seared Salmon in Herb Crust with Lentil Salad and Steamed Dill Potatoes 13.95

Braised Rabbit "Cacciatore" with Mushrooms, Tomatoes and Black Olive Soft Polenta 14.95

Grilled Marinated Skirt Steak, Salsa Verde, Roast Tuscan Potatoes and Spinach 14.50

La Carbonara, 202 W. 14th St., nr. Seventh Ave.; 212-255-2060