We're not in Kalina territory yet, but an invite to a private party at Gemma, the new Italian restaurant in the Bowery Hotel, offered a first look at a space we've been salivating over since its wood-fired pizza oven was plywooded back in January. Close readers will recall that Freemans Taavo Somer is the architect here, and let's give the man his due. He's taken the same riff on the wood-beamed Italian farmhouse that Keith McNally used at Morandi—and, thanks in part to much higher ceilings, done it better. Other nice touches: an open kitchen and long, stylish bar. (The food, just set party menus as Gemma gears up to soft open, is too far off to warrant comment.) Prediction: 5:30 or 11 by its second week.
· Plywood Report: Gemma, April '07 [~E~]
· EaterWire: Taavo Somer at Bowery Hotel [~E~]
· Plywood Sneak: Bowery Hotel Restaurant, January '07 [~E~]