L’Artusi, one of the most popular Italian restaurants in the West Village, is quietly expanding its footprint in downtown Manhattan with two openings slated for August. B’Artusi, located at 520 Hudson Street, near West 10th Street, will be a casual wine bar with indoor and outdoor seating. Via Porta, located next door at 522 Hudson Street, will expand on the meal kits L’Artusi offered during the pandemic with pastries, sandwiches, salads, and snacks for breakfast and lunch.
Since opening over a decade ago in December 2008, L’Artusi has become a neighborhood fixture, but everything came to a halt when the pandemic shut down restaurants in March of last year. The restaurant jumped into the delivery game with takeout lunch service a few months before indoor dining was banned the first time around, says Kevin Garry, managing partner at L’Artusi and co-owner of the two new spots. Those plans evolved into a more robust menu with takeout and meal kits throughout the pandemic.
“L’Artusi is about the experience,” Garry says. “People will always crave that. But restaurants are evolving, and people want that experience outside of the restaurant.”
The L’Artusi team decided to expand following the return of indoor dining, as the kitchen could not handle to-go orders while also feeding diners on site, which also includes about seven outdoor tables along West 10th Street.
When B’Artusi opens this summer, the restaurant will join a growing number of intimate, casual spaces offering drinks and small plates (think: Bar Pisellino, Cafe Kitsune, L’Accolade). Garry envisions customers hanging out with glasses of wine and ordering small plates on “the best corner of the West Village.”
The menu is still in the works, but chef Joe Vigorito, who’s been with L’Artusi for over 10 years and is also a partner in the two openings, says “the dishes aren’t overcomplicated.” He adds that diners will be able to mix-and-match salads, frutti de mare, and other Italian specialties.
At Via Porta, there will be a breakfast sandwich that riffs on L’Artusi’s most popular dish: roasted mushrooms served with pancetta, ricotta salata, and a fried egg. The restaurant is also known for its pastas and sells jars of ragu, bolognese, and other items that weren’t available before the pandemic, including pickled vegetables, peppers, and preserved lemons.
“I think every day that goes by, we’re feeling better about opening,” Garry says. “We’re getting good at hitting the curve balls because the rules are changing all the time. That was a challenge, but our team has kept rolling with it.”