A California Chef Assembles an NYC Dream Team at Casa Apicii
Casey Lane is well known in California for his trio of hip Los Angeles restaurants; an English gastropub called The Parish, a rotisserie and pasta spot dubbed Itri, and his original, star-making venture, The Tasting Kitchen, a terroir-focused bistro just steps away from Venice Beach. And while the ambitious young gun may have set his sights on NYC with Casa Apicii (just opened in The Lion’s townhouse space) West Coasters don’t need to mourn his absence just yet — as he’s assembled a cast of talented locals, ready to execute his breezy Italian vision.
Heading up the kitchen is Lincoln and A Voce alum, Adam Nadel, tasked with turning out multiple variations on mozzarella (Fior de Latte with campari tomatoes, Burrata paired with pole beans, and marble-sized, housemade bocconcini), as well as a series of pared down pastas (think Spaghetti slicked with bottarga, Strozzapreti tossed with octopus, and Fonduta Ravioli), and an uncommonly substantial vegetable selection; including unique options like Kohlrabi in venetian curry, Sunchokes larded with speck, and Spigarello — a kale-like leafy green that tastes like broccoli — swaddled in a coat of chili breadcrumbs.
Employees Only co-founder, Dushan Zaric, has helped devise the cocktail program, and Daniel and Del Posto’s former bartender, Fabio Raffaelli, ably executes it, working off a curated list of apertivi, such as the “Bella Monica” with wild flower vermouth, ginger beer and fresh strawberries, as well as stronger sippers like the “Il Lido,” comprised of rhubarb cordial, prosecco, aperol and gin.
Patrick Cormier (previously of Locanda Verde) oversees the front-of-house and what a dominion it is — a bi-level, 19th-century space bedecked with modern, starburst chandeliers, lush leather banquettes running the length of the room and chairs upholstered in canary-colored velvet. Sorry, Cali folk, but we have a feeling Casey Lane is going to have a tough time staying away from his beautiful Big Apple baby.
62 W 9th St.