Considering how successful Andrew Carmellini’s A Voce has been, we were hardly surprised to hear he was looking at new projects. But Carmellini tells us that, although “I’d like to open another [A Voce] in a good urban market,” he has other, more intriguing (to us, anyway) plans in store too. Carmellini wants to create a multi-ethnic American restaurant at some point in the near future. Given that he made his name at Café Boulud cooking from a wide range of traditions, the idea seems a natural for him.
“I want to do something with American food beyond comfort stuff. My name is Carmellini, and I’m from Cleveland; I mean, ethnic food is in the vernacular of American cooking. It’s part of American cooking. So we’d have really good fried chicken, good biscuits, pulled pork, but also fish tacos, Thai dishes, pierogis — stuff that has become part of our food in this country.” Carmellini sees this dream restaurant, which as yet has no name and is still in the earliest stages of conception, as a two-tiered operation. The front would be open all day and take no reservations, and the back would be more composed and high-end. But right now, it’s the food, he tells us, that has him really absorbed: “I have pages and pages of menu formats and ideas,” he says.