Top Chef devotees might remember Stephen Asprinio from season one, when he was just a lad (albeit a very focused one) in his mid-twenties. Now, a few years and a few Florida restaurants later, Grub learns that Asprinio is planning his first New York spot, a 40-seat "smart casual" pizzeria he hopes to replicate across the country. Pizza Vinoteca should open at 32 Water Street sometime this spring, with iPad ordering, mesquite-grilled pizzas, enomatically dispensed wines (and prosecco on tap), plus some creative beverage options for teetotalers, including draft root beer brewed by the restaurateur's father, Alfred Asprinio. Asprinio himself has lived in the area for the past few years and thinks that "downtown is it." He calls the financial district "a progressive area really focused on innovation and amenities." Cheers to that.
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