Johnny Anderes, et al, take over the Ciao Napoli space
Rumors flew when Ciao Napoli randomly shuttered one night last month. "Is Telegraph crew moving in?" asked the intrepid kids at Eater. Today, we can put the rumors to bed. We now know the answer is yes: The Telegraph crew—including sommelier Jeremy Quinn, chef Johnny Anderes and pastry chef Katie Wyer—will open an American-style osteria restaurant in the Ciao space. And it will include wood-fired bagels.
Owners Tom MacDonald, Janan Asfour and Jason Normann were not necessarily looking to open a restaurant so soon after opening Telegraph. But they'd put a bug in the ear of Ciao's landlord (who is also the landlord of Telegraph): "If that space ever becomes available, come to us first," they said. As it happened, Ciao wanted out.
The reason they wanted the space was fairly singular. "What we loved about that space," says MacDonald, "is the beautiful wood-burning oven." And that's why this new venture (which has no name yet) will be more restaurant than bar. That makes it something of a departure for this group of restaurateurs, who also own the drinkcentric Bluebird and Webster's Wine Bar. But then again, they have a new foodcentric partner in this venture: Anderes, who at Telegraph is, technically, only an employee. "Johnny, unbeknownst to me, has always had this sort of great desire to do an American osteria thing," MacDonald says. So that's exactly what the group is doing. They're careful not call it a strictly Italian spot—"It's old school, traditional Italian techniques, but American ingredients," Anderes says—but the focus will be wood-fired pizzas and pastas.
So where do the bagels come in? The spot will have two menus: one for the daytime, one for the evening. The daytime menu will feature Wyer's croissants, wood-fired bagels and other pastries. A breakfast sandwich or two (using housemade breads) will probably factor in as well, as well as a daily fresh juice (carrot-ginger, for example) and full coffee service. At this time of day, the restaurant will be counter service, and while in the beginning, breakfast will be the focus, eventually the restaurant will serve lunch, too.
In the evening, the pizzas come out. Anderes is still developing the crust, but he says it's "certainly not a Neopalitan style" pizza, but it is "artisinal." Having just gotten his hands on an old Italian pasta extruder, he's equally excited about doing all sorts of different shapes of housemade pasta. There'll be some wood-roasted meats on the menu, some salads, a few sides and a couple of simple desserts—but it's too early in the menu development stages to say anything definitive.
The one thing the crew knows for sure is that they hope for this spot—which is currently being redesigned by fcSTUDIO—to be casual and inexpensive. Jeremy Quinn is developing a list of a 5–10 wines by the glass and a short bottle list, all of which he hopes to make affordable; Anderes says he's aiming to have everything on his menu under $15. "We definitely want this to be a neighborhood joint, and that means appealing to everybody in the neighborhood: making it affordable to the young artists, making it affordable to families," MacDonald says. "If we do things right, the vast majority of the people in the hood will find it a place that they can embrace."
If that's the goal, wood-roasted bagels are probably a good start. The group hopes to open the spot in October.