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Morandi to be 'like an Italian farmhouse'

Joanna Goddard and Bene Magazine contribute significantly to the the Morandi Watch this month, with their sidebar interview of Keith McNally on the topic of his still-plywooded West Village Ital. (The opening schedule remains 'end of January' per calls to McNally HQ today.) Details about the venue have trickled out of Camp McNally for months, but Goddard's story reveals a few important new details:

What’s the mood of the place?
“Quite rustic, like an Italian farmhouse you’re ecstatic to stumble upon when you can’t to find the grander place you meant to go to.”

You’ve created an empire of French bistros. Why go Italian? “Before I built Balthazar and Pastis, I felt an affinity for France and spent a great deal of time there. The same is now true of Italy, where I’ve traveled many times over the past five years. But my visits had nothing to do with restaurants: I went there for the paintings. Out of that, an interest in the food gradually emerged. Perhaps that’s why I named the restaurant after Giorgio Morandi, one of my favorite Italian painters.”

McNally's open offer to Italian women and a little something about the menu are at Bene.
· Restaurant Opening: New York [Bene]
· EaterWire: Morandi Obsessing [~E~]

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