It’s clearly getting harder for culinary endeavors to stand out in New York’s very crowded field, which is probably why cat food brand Fancy Feast has opted for an extremely out-there concept when trying to market its new, for-humans-only pop-up Italian trattoria at 632 Hudson Street between Jane and Horatio Streets.
Dubbed Gatto Bianco by Fancy Feast, the restaurant will be open for dinner on August 11 and August 12 only, with four reservations per evening starting at 6:30pm. Each reservation will accommodate two people that are 21 and older.
Let’s start with the obvious question: will Gatto Bianco by Fancy Feast serve cat food to people? Absolutely not. What is even the connection between animal and human fare? We’re not entirely sure. According to an official press release, “the dishes (for humans!) take inspiration from Fancy Feast Medleys [the brand's newest recipes] and pay homage to traditional Italian cuisine.” We are, indeed, just as confused as you are.
The presented menu was developed by the brand’s in-house chef, Amanda Hassner, alongside restaurateur Cesare Casella. Hassner herself tried to address the odd concept in an official quote about the project:
"Food has the power to connect us to others in meaningful ways and take us to places we have never been," she said. "The same is true for our cats. The dishes at Gatto Bianco are prepared in ways that help cat owners understand how their cats experience food—from flavor, to texture, to form—in a way that only Fancy Feast can."
Whatever the case may be, we must admit that the tasting menu that the diners will be served sounds pretty delicious. Offerings include a branzino all’Isolana (baked sea bass with tomato, capers, olives and oregano), a dish of costine alla Toscana con rigatoni (Tuscan-style spare ribs with rigatoni), a brasato di manzo con spinaci e polenta (braised beef with spinach and polenta) and a torta di mandorle al cioccolato (almond cake studded with chocolate).
The very limited number of reservations will open this Thursday at 11pm on OpenTable, where you can also read through the pop-up's menu. As incredibly peculiar as the endeavor sounds, we have a feeling that open tables will get taken up relatively quickly (we're in New York, after all) so make sure to try to get a reservation soon.