Bar Italia Madison Wants to Bring an ‘Unexpected Downtown Atmosphere’ to the UES

The original Bar Italia.

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.