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