With their new restaurant Tiella, co-owners Mario Coppola and Giuseppe Castellano (the latter of Cambridge's Gran Gusto) are introducing New York to Neapolitan cuisine that doesn't involve pizza. Named for a traditional cast-iron pan, the idea for the restaurant was born over dinner one night at Rose Water, when according to blogger DManBurger one partner "jokingly said to the other 'why don't you stick it in your Tiella!'"
The tiellas are deployed for an appetizer section of pizza-esque creations topped with combos like stracciatella and truffle, and foie gras and prosciutto. They're baked in the restaurant's 800-degree wood-burning oven, which has the curious honor of being the smallest restaurant brick oven approved by New York state. Also oven-based are the entres, riffs on classic Neapolitan flavors like like branzino over grilled eggplant, potato-crusted orata, and an herbaceous whole roasted chicken. The mostly housemade pastas skew towards the unexpected: think lobster risotto with pink grapefruit, or whole-wheat spaghetti with radicchio, artichokes, and speck. Tiella opens July 12, serving lunch from noon to 3 p.m., and dinner from 5 to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Tiella's Dinner Menu [PDF]
"Tiella" Opens July 12 [DManBurger]
Tiella, 1109 First Ave., nr. 61st St.; 212-588-0100