This Friday, restaurateur and soon-to-be new dad Scott Conant opens his latest NYC restaurant, Faustina in the Cooper Square Hotel. And while the space is still not photo ready, Conant gave Eater a preview tour to see the new digs.
The look: Those familiar with the former tenant Table 8 will of course notice a resemblance here, as the Faustina team only had three weeks to revamp the space. But the new gray and beige tones, honeycombed columns, panels of mirrors, new lighting, and the occasional red accent make the main restaurant space much softer, lighter, and more feminine. The salt bar is still in place from the Table 8 days and will function in a similar manner, while the tables will remain bare.
The cafe/bar: The former Cooper Square Hotel downstairs bar will have a completely new feel to it when it opens as a 45 seat cafe and espresso bar later this week. Conant has added a glass wall of wine and a communal table in the back and about a dozen high two tops to the main area by the bar. They'll serve the restaurant's lunch and dinner menu but will also offer a mostly traditional Italian breakfast menu and a full espresso offerings. New soundproofing should make the place much more bearable when full.
The menu: The menu, above, is Italian but not, by any means, traditional, including everything from sweetbreads, scallops, and lardo-wrapped prawns to fried chicken, spare ribs, and tripe. The dishes average out at around $13 a plate but are meant to be ordered in a grouping, three to five a person. Those who have tried Conant's late night menu at Scarpetta will recognize a few of the dishes here, but otherwise there's no crossover. Unless, of course you want there to be. Well known Scarpetta dishes like spaghetti and polenta can be ordered off the menu.
The burger: The burger, which will make its home on the lunch menu, will be made of the coveted Pat La Frieda black label blend. The Faustina burger will differ from the piece de resistance served at Minetta Tavern, as it will be cut with 30 percent regular grind to ease out some of that (delicious) funk. It will be topped with taleggio cheese and a mixture of carmelized onions and pickled mustard seeds on a potato bun.
Other spaces: Conant wants the outdoor area to have a Saint Tropez feel when it opens later in the spring. Expect tablecloths and higher hedges to keep it shielded from the street. His team will soon launch a cocktail program in the second floor bar, and they're already hosting events in the hotel's crazy beautiful penthouse space.
Stay tuned for the full photo spread later this week.
· All Conant at the Coop Coverage [~ENY~]