The heavyweights at Major Food Group are opening Torrisi Bar and Restaurant in Manhattan on Thursday, December 1. The new restaurant — from the team behind spots like Carbone and the Grill, which often feel like glitzy, luxury theater with celebrity-packed seats — is located inside the landmarked, 19th-century Puck Building, formerly home to residency restaurant Chefs Club, at 275 Mulberry Street, at Jersey Street, in Nolita.
Torrisi Bar and Restaurant is a revival of sorts of the team’s restaurant Torrisi Italian Specialties, which closed in 2015, growing from a counter-service sandwich shop that started in 2009 with coffee and lunch, and later, adding a set menu. This go-around has landed a storied location named for the political cartoon satire Puck magazine. In 2013, Trump ally Jared Kushner evolved the building that his real estate family took over in 1980, into multi-million dollar apartments (as of September 2021, a Puck penthouse owned by his brother, Joshua Kushner, and supermodel Karlie Kloss, was listed for $23.5 million).
Torrisi Bar and Restaurant co-owner Rich Torrisi tells the New York Times the new restaurant is not “cookie-cutter red sauce.” This iteration will be “grander” at 4,000-square-feet, with an open kitchen (a first for the group), a 35-seat bar, and a 40-seat dining room with vaulted ceilings. In addition, there are 16 seats outside, as well as a private dining room with capacity for 18. Inside, tablecloth culture is alive and well in this emerald green, marble-floor room designed by Garrett Singer, behind many Major Food interiors.
The menu, led by executive chef Charlie England, a longtime chef de cuisine at Carbone, is attempting to add a New York state of mind to the group’s Italian American cooking: There’s a short rib dish rubbed with pastrami seasoning, for one, as well as a dish listed as “cucumbers New Yorkese,” alongside linguine with Manhattan clams, a “San Gennaro bao,” and a Jamaican-style ragu. On the sweet side, pastry chef Stephanie Prida will be making Italian ices and almond cheesecake. “There’s still lots of room for New York City-driven food,” Torrisi told the Times. And while MFG restaurants are often about the show — think tableside pasta a la presse at the Grill — at Torrisi’s place, food is the focus, he tells Resy; though, the group’s social media-famous mozzarella will also be available.
While, according to the Times, his partners in Major Food Group, Mario Carbone and Jeff Zalaznick, have moved to Miami — a state where the team has opened ten restaurants in two years — Torrisi will remain in New York at this restaurant he calls, according to a spokesperson, his most “personal” project to date. It’s unclear what his day-to-day involvement will look like, as a spokesperson for Major Food Group declined to allow Eater to interview Torrisi unless it was through pre-approved emailed responses.
Reservations for Torrisi Bar and Restaurant are now live on Resy.