First Look: Convivio

Convivio goes for a looser look.
Convivio goes for a looser look. Photo: Randi Eichenbaum

As Rob and Robin write in this week’s issue, Convivio, the Michael White–Chris Cannon restaurant formerly known as L’Impero, opens tonight. White and Cannon asked designer Vicente Wolf to replace the old-world regality with a sleeker, more modern look. The new menu, linked below, is less stately and more casual. White emphasizes tapas-size plates called sfizi, along with an expanded antipasti section. His intent, says the chef, is “really delving into Southern Italian cooking of a kind that’s not being done in America. This is meant to be intensely authentic, in-your-face, regional cooking that reflects the assertive flavors of Sicily, Campagna, and other parts of Southern Italy.” White’s cooking, which excels at taking zaftig, robust dishes and refining them without taming their rustic essences, will be tested by this ambitious program. But will the city’s foodies hasten to Tudor City to see what’s happening there?

Convivo lunch menu [PDF]
Convivo dinner menu [PDF]

Related: Opening: Convivio [NYM]

First Look: Convivio