openings

Vai’s Soho Spinoff, Vai Spuntino Bar, Opens Next Week

Left: The Dutch. Right: Vai Spuntino Bar.

Left: The Dutch. Right: Vai Spuntino Bar.Photo: Daniel Maurer

Soho is still waiting on tenderhooks for Andrew Carmellini’s the Dutch (it has a logo! It’s hiring! and some of the construction plywood is off, as you can see above); meanwhile, a stone’s throw away, at 105 Thompson Street, a notable newcomer will open next week. Vai Spuntino Bar is an outpost of Vincent Cherico’s uptown spot Vai. The chef, Greg Torrech, was chef at 6th Street Kitchen before Andrew Kraft (who just opened Osteria Cotta), and worked with Kraft at Ryan Skeen’s kitchens at Allen & Delancey and Irving Mill. Here he’ll be doing what he describes as “honest Mediterranean food.”

Compared with Vai, the menu will consist of “more elaborate, finer foods with more technique involved,” says Torrech. “We’re going all out.” Dishes like the tuna tartare and the himachi crudo will come downtown, but you’ll also be able to order a bacalao salad (confit salted cod, cauliflower and potato puree, and preserved lemon), an olive-poached halibut and guancile cannellini bean cassoulet, and roasted bone marrow with battuto vinaigrette. The kitchen will initially be open from 5 till 11 p.m. (with wine service continuing till 2 a.m.), but expect breakfast and lunch in the next few weeks.

Vai Spuntino Bar, 105 Thompson St., nr. Prince St.; 212-226-1146

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