The Feed first look: Caff Storico

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  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Hubbard squash tortelloni at Caff Storico

    Hubbard squash tortelloni at Caff Storico

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    King crab crostini at Caff Storico

    King crab crostini at Caff Storico

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Artichoke and burrata at Caff Storico

    Artichoke and burrata at Caff Storico

Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

Hubbard squash tortelloni at Caff Storico

Hubbard squash tortelloni at Caff Storico

In 2006, Philadelphia restaurateur Stephen Starr stormed New York with spin-offs of his hometown megahits Buddakan and Morimoto. But after that big breakout push, he turned his attention elsewhere for five years. On December 10 or 11, he returns with his first New York original: Caff Storico, a luxe Venetian snack bar set in the New-York Historical Society—a keystone of the museum's recent $65 million renovation.

Starr turned to Philly, where he operates 20 venues, to staff the kitchen: James Beard nominee Jim Burke left his own restaurant James for the job. His menu will highlight cicchetti, Italy's answer to tapas, like meatballs, grilled cuttlefish and baccal mantecato (a creamy salt cod spread native to Venice). Diners can nibble on these snacks at the Italian-marble bar, along with a glass from the 50-bottle, all-Italian wine list. Those looking for a full-fledged meal can settle into sunny yellow banquettes and choose from pastas and entres, such as hand-rolled garganelli with cauliflower and bottarga, and a dry-aged T-bone steak with broccolini and patata al forno (potato casserole).

The New-York Historical Society boosts the restaurant's cultural bona fides with works from its collection (Staffordshire china, Chinese and European porcelain) displayed on white shelves in the 75-seat dining room. New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West between 76th and 77th Sts (212-485-9211)

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