Replacing a classic piece of New York is never easy, especially if it somehow gains control of setting its own term limits. Nevertheless making an attempt: Crudo Vineria Con Cucina.
Setting up in the spot formerly occupied by the well-known
tourist-trap Little Italy staple Umberto's Clam House, the crew behind CVCC (whose backgrounds range from Via Dei Mille and Juliet Supperclub, to Naples, which is a city, and not a club) has kept the "famous lights of the metal sign", but altered the interior to resemble a quaint coastal Italian home, with hues of yellow, blue, and red accented by cherry wainscoting, sea life murals, and a white marble raw bar.
Focused almost exclusively on simply prepared seafood, raw bar fare (yes, including clams) is on hand to whet appetites for distinctly Med starters including a range of tartars (wild salmon w/ artichoke mousse & fried crostini, fennel-topped sea bass), fried cuttlefish with spicy tomato coulis, and cantaloupe plated w/ crispy prosciutto and lobster pulp, a crustacean that's used to being hard-boiled.
Flying in all of their fish directly from Italy, more substantial stomach-stickers include pastas like angel hair with sea urchin, and fat tubes studded with diced swordfish and pistachios, plus less carb-errific options like seared tuna steak with braised onions & fava beans, and broccoli rabe/citrus vinaigrette-topped whole aged red mullet, which can often be found listening to Strypers.
Of course they also have a few meatier items (thinly sliced filet with shaved grana cheese, Cornish game hen cooked under a brick), and everything can be washed down with a selection from the 100-plus wine list, which focuses on Sicilian, Calabrian, and Puglian small producers, just one more thing Bloomberg has no time for.
Published: June 14, 2011 at 4:00am EDT
178 Mulberry St
New York, NY 100132
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