Empire builder Michael White, who put in time in Italy and at Chicago's lauded Spiaggia, made his New York debut at Fiamma, located in a snug townhouse on the edge of Soho. Now White—who has since rolled out four restaurants spanning the range of Italian cuisines, from high-minded Marea to pizzeria Nicoletta—returns to that space on May 17, with this elegant 140-seat steakhouse. The bi-level spot, given a downtown edge with abstract paintings by British artist Nasser Azam, is helmed by PJ Calapa, White's executive chef at swanky hotel restaurant Ai Fiori. Calapa turns out meaty fare such as a behemoth tomahawk chop and a fiorentina prime porterhouse for two (steaks are sourced from Creekstone Farms and aged for at least 28 days). Lighter dishes include seafood crudos (fennel-spiced razor clams with soppressata, tuna lardo in aged sherry) and handmade pastas (agnolotti in sugo di arrosto). To drink: a selection of 500 wines—mostly from Italy, France and the States—and gin martinis crafted by bartender Eben Freeman. 206 Spring St between Sixth Ave and Sullivan St (212-334-3320)
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Michael White adds a bi-level Italian steakhouse to his Manhattan empire.
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