Justin Slojkowski and Dave Gulino, who accidentally found themselves running an impossible-to-get-into pop-up in the coffee shop Box Kite earlier this year, are teaming up with designer Demian Repucci to open Bruno Pizza in the East Village. To call Bruno Pizza a pizzeria is only a partial truth. There will be pizza cooked in a wood-fire oven and pastas topped with locally sourced ingredients when the restaurant opens in February. But once things settle down, there will also be a Box Kite-esque tasting menu from the cooking duo.
Slojkowski and Gulino met Repucci earlier this year when he came to Box Kite for dinner. Repucci already had plans in the works for a pizzeria, and told the chefs about it thinking the Roberta's alums might know of a good chef. The pair was intrigued. Repucci wanted to source everything locally, including 00 flour, the only choice for serious pizzaioli. Since it wasn't available, he committed to milling his own in the restaurant's basement. When Slojkowski and Gulino left Box Kite in September they reconnected and agreed to open Bruno Pizza together.
Repucci is still working out all of the details, but for now, he plans to make the tasting menu a reservations-only option for just a handful of seats at the restaurant. The space is much larger than the tiny Box Kite, but to keep the intimate relationship between chefs and diners, Repucci built a 20 person bar looking into the kitchen and a few special seats right at the pass, where the chefs will cook. Bruno Pizza, 204 East 13th Street, East Village.