When it opens in September, Bar Italia Madison, the offshoot of 77th Street's Bar Italia, will carry a serious Upper East Side pedigree. Its address was previously home to jet-set favorite Frederick's; former Cipriani executive chef Denis Franceschini is at the stoves; and behind it all is Jean Denoyer, the megarestaurateur behind Le Colonial, Brasserie-Ruhlnmann, and the now-closed La Goulue.
To differentiate itself from its Second Avenue sibling, the ever-so-slightly-more-southern outpost plans to bring "an unexpected downtown atmosphere" to its uptown address, hoping for a Mediterranean vibe that's less formal experience than those of Madison Avenue's other pricey joints. "We wanted a fun, light but real Italian spot" Denoyer tells us. It's the mood that's the big selling point — the pan-Italian menu won't deviate much from that of the original Bar Italia, including papardelle bolognese, herb-infused steaks, and homey veal ragu.
Bar Italia Madison, 768 Madison Ave., nr. 66th St.