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 entrées, 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