Vincent Chirico, chef/owner of Vai, who has been turning out some really nice food at Cafe Medi in the Hotel on Rivington, will be opening a new restaurant next month at 306 West 13th St. It is a space he signed a 10-year lease on last year, only to be turned down by the community board for a liquor license and discover that there wasn't enough ventilation to actually cook.
Cleverly, the chef, who worked at Jean-Georges and Daniel before setting out on his own, has devised a way around the obstacles. He finally obtained a beer and wine license and has come up with a concept to serve almost all raw dishes, from crudos to tartares. Among the menu items he plans: heirloom carrots with smoked prosciutto, fuji apple carpaccio, lamb tartare with anchovy, and Wagyu "minute steak'' which will be flash seared. The place will be called simply, Raw. Stay tuned for more details on the opening of Raw as they become available.