While Wylie Dufresne heads to the East Village with his next project, other notable restaurateurs Epicurean Management (of dell'anima, L'Artusi, and Anfora fame) are opening in the hood as well — this very night. Their latest spot is the biggest yet, which "gives us more flexibility to do things we've always wanted to do," says co-owner Joe Campanale. Being a beverage expert, he's excited to have a real dedicated bar area, and also to accomodate large groups and private dining, plus a few large-format dishes. On Gabe Thompson's "Italian-inspired" menu, Campanale is especially jazzed about the polenta alla spianatora — spread thin on a board in a portion big enough for sharing, studded with things like mushrooms, oxtail, or rock shrimp.
You'll also find Thompson's house-made pastas, smaller spuntini and piattino for sharing, and larger entree plates, plus steak and branzino to eat family-style. Campanale tells us his bar menu features half U.S.-produced wines, something he never thought he'd do five years ago, "but there's so much exciting stuff going on in America right now." The restaurant is dinner-only for now, but brunch should roll out within the next few weeks. Also coming soon is a separate menu for vegans, with fare like grilled endive salad, linguine with mushroom ragu, and cauliflower "steak." See the opening menu — subject to change — below.
L'Apicio, 13 E.1st St., nr. Second Ave., 212-533-7400