232 Bleecker Street at Carmine Street
The Dig Food Group, the parent company of fast casual chain Dig Inn has opened 232 Bleecker, its first full-service restaurant in the space that used to house Trattoria Spaghetto. The chef, Suzanne Cupps, was previously at Untitled at the Whitney, and before that at beloved West Village restaurant Annisa and also Gramercy Tavern. There is a large wood-burning hearth behind the counter which is used for cooking chickens, baking lasagna and roasting vegetables. (The carrots that come with ricotta and hot honey are both meltingly sweet and charred, something that cannot be accomplished by oven roasting.) The menu is vegetable-heavy, not surprising since the company has a 12-acre farm in Orange County, but there are carnivorous options. The interior is bright and cheery which is quite a contrast from the previous décor. The wine list is eclectic (there is a Pink Gummy Bear Wine from the Czech Republic) and reasonably priced, and the young, enthusiastic sommelier is extremely helpful in steering you towards a good choice.
Pasta al Forno
167 7th Avenue South near Perry Street
Emanuele Bugiani, the owner of Fiaschetteria Pistoia, the popular Tuscan restaurant with locations in the East Village and also at 114 Christopher Street has opened a small charming spot focusing on baked pasta. The menu is hand-drawn and looks like a comic strip with colorful text and illustrations. All the pastas are available by the generous slice or portion for $14 to $18. There is lasagna and eggplant parmesan, but also more unusual choices like Crespelle alla Fiorentina, Tartufata di Patate, and Timpano, which some might remember from the movie Big Night. The family has a long history in the food business—according to their website, they have worked in restaurants in Pistoia (in Tuscany) since 1890, and still own a restaurant there called Fiaschetteria La Pace.
A new restaurant from the Quality Branded Group will take over the space vacated by Spanish tapas and paella restaurant Barraca at 81 Greenwich Avenue at Bank Street (although the new restaurant will have a 2 Bank Street address). The group operates two other restaurants on Greenwich Avenue on either side of the new space, Quality Eats (19 Greenwich Avenue) to the southeast and Don Angie (103 Greenwich Avenue) to the northwest. A faithful reader alerts us that a new tailor shop will be opening at 535 Hudson between Perry and Charles where formerly the polo-inspired Colombian handmade belt and pet collar/leash shop Macondo Belts used to be. Signage is finally up at 375 6th Avenue (corner of Waverly Place) in the space that used to be a Vitamin Shoppe years ago. As we knew, there will be a bank (Bank of America), but the rest of the space will house a branch of the hair-removal chain Unikwax.
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Photos by Maggie Berkvist.