New York City has had its fair share of Australian imports — particularly with coffee and cafes — but now, the team behind some of Sydney’s most pedigreed and stylish full-service restaurants and bars is trying its hand at NYC, too.
Next week, Jason Scott and Robert Marchetti are opening their first U.S. restaurant, Gran Tivoli in Nolita, a coastal Italian restaurant at 406 Broome St. between Lafayette Street and Cleveland Place. They come with credibility from Australia, where Scott co-founded the Swillhouse Group and became known for line-inducing, aesthetic-focused dining and cocktail destinations. (French restaurant Restaurant Hubert in Sydney won an award for best new restaurant in the local paper in 2016.) Marchetti comes from Sydney’s trendy Icebergs Dining Room and Bar and stints consulting on the dining programs for Australian boutique hotel company QT Hotels.
Despite being known for vibes in Sydney, here, Scott and Marchetti want to make an everyday neighborhood restaurant — with an expansive menu in hopes of inviting repeat visits. Gran Tivoli’s menu has 42 dishes that go hard on seafood, with robust meat and vegetarian options, too.
Expect handmade pastas and risottos, like one with squid ink and calamari and another with hake, monk, tomato, and marjoram. There’s a fish stew pot pie and a steamed king whiting cartoccio baked in a paper bag with a turmeric-fish bone broth and hedgehog mushrooms. And there is a section of antipasto as well, including small plates like a yellowfin tuna belly tartare and grilled wild scallops served in the half shell with uni-garlic-basil butter and seas beans.
The menu was designed with people who like to frequently eat out in mind, with a range of hearty and light fare to cater to different dining moods, Marchetti says.
“There’s a risk doing big menus,” he says. “I could easily do just six dishes, but then would you come back on Friday after you ate here on Tuesday?”
While there’s a focus on seafood, Gran Tivoli also has meat options on hand, like pork belly with malt bread stuffing and a veal schnitzel with egg and anchovies. Vegan and vegetarian options are also available. The Calabrian salt-baked baby beet salad comes with cashew cheese, sorrel, and pickled strawberries, while a mushroom tart contains buckwheat polenta and borage.
Underneath the main restaurant is a cellar space from Scott and Marchetti dubbed Peppi’s Cellar, which is already open. The underground space features a long bar with brick shelves displaying the bottles and has romantic wine cellar vibes. The focus is on drinks but a smaller menu of food items are also served.
Cocktails include one made with whiskey and green apple and another made with a house blend of amari, egg white, and citrus. Dishes downstairs include snacks like fried pork, veal, and mortadella meatballs.
It’s a bit more casual than Gran Tivoli, featuring intimate round tables in addition to the bar stools. Cocktails for Gran Tivoli and Peppi’s Cellar come from Peachy’s alum David Fisher; Australia-based Luke Sullivan helms the wine program, which leans toward Italian wines.
Though it’s their first U.S. excursion, Scott’s previous bars and restaurants were very much inspired by the American dining scene. One bar pulled from Southern-style saloons, while Hubert — though French — is more inspired by New York City French restaurants than ones in Paris.
Still, Marchetti says that Gran Tivoli is very different from any projects he and Scott have previously helmed. The other places tend to dig into twists of cuisines. Gran Tivoli, on the other hand, goes for “unadorned” Italian food that centers the ingredients, says Marchetti.
“We get bored,” Marchetti says. “We try to do things a little bit better and a little bit different every time,” he says.