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Chef Tom Colicchio Debuts Italian Pop-Up in Former Craftbar Space

Plus, Sticky’s Finger Joint launches an OnlyFans account — and more intel

Top Chef - Season 17
Tom Colicchio on the set of Top Chef
Photo by: Nicole Weingart/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Tom Colicchio to debut Italian restaurant in former Craftbar space

On the heels of the latest season debut of Top Chef, Tom Colicchio is turning the space of his former restaurant Craftbar — which closed in 2017 at 47 East 19th Street — into his first-ever Italian restaurant on Wednesday, April 28. Vallata, a “Roman-inspired neighborhood trattoria,” is a pop-up of sorts and there’s no end date for the restaurant, according to a Crafted Hospitality spokesperson.

This is Colicchio’s first project in NYC since 2016, when he opened Temple Court (which was originally Fowler & Wells) and the Bar Room at the Beekman hotel. The celebrity chef will be in the kitchen for the opening weeks alongside Bryan Hunt, who will lead Vallata’s day-to-day operations. The menu currently features dishes like raw shaved artichoke salad, gnocchi with braised oxtail, and other classics like cacio e pepe.

Vallata is slated to be open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 5:30 to 10 p.m. with reservations for indoor dining only for now.

In other news

— Sticky’s Finger Joint, the popular fast casual chicken mini-chain, is launching an OnlyFans account — sans the adult content. The channel will host post “exclusive content,” such as eating contests and free, limited-edition free merch. All tips will be donated to ROAR, an industry trade group that advocates for restaurant owners and has an employee relief fund.

— Len Berk, the beloved 91-year-old lox slicer, is back at Zabar’s on Thursdays after taking the last year off as a precaution because of the pandemic.

— Patrick Mock, the manager at 46 Mott Bakery, has handed out more than 70,000 free meals to Chinatown’s senior citizens and the homeless.

— A Harlem-based commercial kitchen opens today in partnership with the nonprofit Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center that focuses on employing young adults, according to a press representative. Bella Karakis, the CEO of e.terra, is behind the concept, which targets smaller local businesses.

— While New York Magazine’s Adam Platt didn’t order the “elaborate head-on-rabbit feast,” which goes for $190 and must ordered two days in advance, he did give Dhamaka a favorable review this week.

— South Slope gets a new grocery store with the opening of an Urban Market.

— Patiently waiting for strawberry season:

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