Gluten-free West Village Italian restaurant Risotteria closed abruptly in 2016 after what chef Joseph Pace describes as “an obscene rent increase,” and now, after a two-year break from NYC dining spent traveling with his wife, Pace and his team have returned to the former Risotteria space at 270 Bleecker St. after the landlord came back willing to negotiate.
At new all-day cafe Bleecker Street Luncheonette, Pace’s menu skews New American with Middle Eastern influences. Breakfast is available all day and includes baked eggs served with the spicy green chili Yemeni sauce zhug and a poached egg lentil bowl. Keeping in line with Risotteria’s gluten-free focus, sandwiches are available on regular bread or on gluten-free bread, for an up-charge of $4. With the exception of the burger ($18 on a gluten-free biscuit), the sandwiches all come to $20 or more with the gluten-free option.
Main courses, available after noon, include a spiced leg of lamb with lentils, kalamata olives, toasted kale, and roasted garlic yogurt. There are also salads, a small dessert menu, and a beer and wine only drink list.
Risotteria opened in the space in 1999 and was a popular neighborhood spot for gluten-free dining. However, when Pace expanded with a second location on the UWS in 2014, the restaurant was open for less than a year.
The new luncheonette has simple decor and casual vibes, light wood floors and tables occupying the small space. It’s open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.