Food & Drink

Teela Italiano

Market research can be quite revealing, whether it's learning that four out of five dentists prefer Crest, or that only five dentists in the world ever fill out surveys, and Dr. Kirschenbaum's always gotta be sooo different. Starting an Italian joint after studying the numbers, Teela Italiano

Just opened by the owners of next-door Teela Taqueria, who crunched market data to learn that Mexican and Italian restaurants are two most profitable cuisines, Italiano's an 84-seat cookery featuring an L-shaped, concrete-stone-topped bar, checkerboard floors, and white brick walls featuring glossy oil paintings of Italian landscapes, which combines with two sectional green and red walls to form the colors of the Italian flag -- tell them you're Hungary, and they'll surely give you the Boot. They exclusively employ imported ingredients like "00" Italian white flour and San Marzano tomatoes to replicate old country flavor in antipastis like the crisp seafood fry (scallops, shrimp & calamari, w/ lemon-pepper mayo & spicy tomato sauce) and mussels steamed in a spicy white wine, lemon & garlic broth; there're also paninis (Caprese, tuna, meatball Parmigiana...) and pizzas, from the Panchetta (w/ shrooms & Parmesan cheese), to the Stagioni, with cherry tomatoes, shrooms, anchovies, artichokes, and kalamata olives -- call it what you want, but just don't try and call a mata anything. Dinners include Fruitte de Mare (seafood medley in spicy tomato sauce) and a fish of the day served w/ roasted Parmeggiano reggiano potatoes; you can also create your own by picking a pasta (tagliatelle, gnocchi, mac & cheese, butternut ravioli...), meat (chicken, meatballs, shrimp, salmon), and sauce like Amatriciana (pancetta w/ pomodoro & fiery pepperoncino), or the cherry tomato, black olives, garlic, and virgin olive oil Rustica, which also comes with a touch of chili, and'll have to do until they get their next shipment of T-Boz

Teela's got 16 bottled brews (Moretti, Peroni, Stella, Brooklyn Lager...), plus a vino list with four Proseccos and 18 reds/whites, including Argentina's Antis Malbec, and Italy's La Bastarda Blend, which four out of five men prefer, cause there's always one guy who just had to have those parents who were married.