From the flattering entreaties of street greeters to the dazzling wall frescoes, Little Italy's a truly crappy place to open an authentic Italian restaurant. Opening in Chinatown instead: Sorella
Cheffed by a Union Square Cafe vet, Sorella does double-duty with two rooms serving Piedmont vino and grub: a low-lit exposed brick dining room lorded over by a sloping glass ceiling, and a brown-toned bar sleeve whose vaulted ceiling resembles wine barrels, just like your close male relations. The bar's slinging small plates like duck fat English muffin bread w/ chicken liver mousse, fried egg, and bacon, while the dining room's serving a choice of three entrees (fish, pasta, or meat) which will change daily; pastas and breads are homemade, while most other ingredients are sourced from the Union Square Greenmarket (like a Canal Street handbag sale for lettuce). Booze is dominated by a 110-strong NoLitaly vino and bubbly list, but suds-wise there is a selection of boutique Euro bottles and taps, including the Italians Le Baladin Nora and Piccolo Birrificio Seson -- named for Belgium's "Season of Excellence", and totally plagiarized from Sports Illustrated's homage to the 1981 Cincinnati Bengals
Right now, Sorella's limiting grubbing to small plates at the bar, but next Wednesday'll start serving mains in the dining room -- which you must come in and eat right now, my handsome friend.