The Michael White world domination plan enters a new phase today with the news that the Altamarea Group has signed the lease on the Madison Avenue space that formerly housed Pino Luongo's Centolire. White and his business partner Ahmass Fakahany already operate Marea, Ai Fiori, Osteria Morini, and Nicoletta in NYC, plus a location of Morini in New Jersey and Al Molo in Hong Kong. This fall, the duo will also open The Butterfly in Tribeca.
Although the Altamarea Group has not offered any details on the new restaurant, Eater has a good guess as to what this project might be.
For months there have been rumors that White was scouting locations for an upscale steakhouse project. Although he's never done a completely meat-centric concept before, all of his restaurants except for Nicoletta serve killer steaks, and as we know, White's LaFrieda connection runs deep. Eater heard rumors that he was eyeing spaces in Midtown and Gramercy for this project, but the Upper East Side would also be a perfect fit. Of course, he could also open another Italian restaurant here, or a pizzeria, or a Midwestern-style restaurant — it's anyone's guess at this point.
As you may recall, former tenant Pino Luongo is not a big fan of White's cooking. No word yet on when this project will open, but in April, the Times reported that White and Fakahany hoped to open "at least five restaurants" in 2012/2013.
UPDATE: It's not going to be a steakhouse, but rather a new fine-dining version of Osteria Morini called Ristorante Morini.
· Altamarea Lands [NYP]
· All Coverage of Michael White [~ENY~]