A Sultry Italiano Goes East
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, just make it as readily available as possible. We suspect this might be the motto of chef and restaurateur duo Gabe Thompson and Joe Campanale, who have just opened their first East Village eatery, L’Apicio, off the back of successful West Village precursors Dell’Anima and L’Artusi. Like its siblings in the West, L’Apicio offers a similarly rustic Italian menu of antipasti, salads, hearty pastas (pappardelle with short rib ragu, we’re looking at you), fish and meats, but in addition you’ll also find a slew of inventive polenta dishes with a handful of delectable toppings like braised oxtail and pork meatballs with tomato and bacon.
Once again, Campanale doubles as beverage director, and has deftly assembled a list of over 250 American and Italian Old and New World-style wines, along with a selection of craft beers including homegrown favourite Brooklyn Local 1, and a cocktail menu featuring the palate-pleasing likes of ‘Manhattan in the Fall’ – a warming blend of cinnamon-infused rye, carpano antica and mole bitters – amongst others. The sophisticated interior has shades of industrial shophouse chic, with rough concrete flooring and exposed brick panels, but pale woods, leather banquettes and softly-glowing latticed-orb lighting add warmth and ambience, making this not only a prime spot for a little romancing, but also one of the hottest tickets in town. Waiter!