Martini at Costata
Tomahawk chop at Costata
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 seafoodcrudos (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)
Tucked into the mezzanine level of the Time New York hotel, the LeGrande Lounge serves up small plates and specialty cocktails in a secluded setting. Order something off the beer or wine list, or go for a signature cocktail like the Gold Finch with vodka, cinnamon, cream and Stumptown cold brew or the Madame’s Choice with gin, honey, sage, lemon and earl grey tea (both $16). The bartenders will be happy to mix you a Moscow mule, negroni, Manhattan or another classic cocktail, too (all $15). The food options range from light bites like bruschetta ($9) to larger, shareable plates—think steak tacos with salsa verde ($20), honeyed truffle pecorino grilled cheese ($14) and fried chicken served with hot sauce and Brussels sprouts slaw ($16).
Venue says: “Live jazz music & drink specials every Wednesday from 7-11PM featuring Acute Inflections!”