It’s the year of the Italian market restaurant, with another location of Eataly opening in Soho; Rome icon Roscioli setting up in the former Niche Niche space; and now, the Italians behind Osteria57 and Alice in the Village opening its pescetarian and vegetable-focused Travelers, Poets, and Friends today, at 457 Sixth Avenue near West 11th Street. The location features a market with stations for pasta, baked goods, “salumi,” coffee, wine, a cafe bar, and a restaurant from Emanuele Nigro and chef Riccardo Orfino. Yet even with salumi options — there will be no meat.
The name “conveys how we see this business,” says Nigro. The space includes the 50-seat cafe bar area that’s the focal point of the market. It offers coffee and pastries, as well as toasts, a yogurt parfait bar, and sandwiches during the day. At night it’s small plates — including cheeses, and what they’re calling “seacuterie” and tinned fish; Italian wines, and cocktails. The bigger restaurant in the space, the 60-seat Alaluna, opens at the end of January. There’s also a 20-seat private dining area and a 25-seat patio.
“Not serving meat is a very personal decision,” says Nigro. To focus on vegetables and fish “is about making better choices with an eye on sustainability.”
One More Hospitality was started by Nigro in 2017 when he opened Osteria57, followed by Alice — both of which have menus that emphasize fish and vegetables. The group has expanded to include Orfino as a partner, as well as bar director, Waél Deek, and manager, Mickey Bosco.
The partners are passionate about bringing small, Italian producers to the New York market, with importers like Gustiamo in the Bronx as well as purveyors in Italy. There’s a fresh pasta station (with paccheri, rigatoni, mafalde, and more) with take-home items; fresh produce, and specialty goods like sauces and jams; a bakery turning out bomboloni, cornetti, and maritozzi, along with savory items like Roman-style pizza. There’s also a cheese counter, tinned fish and “seacuterie,” prepared food options; and a health and wellness corner with supplements, teas, and beauty products.
Travelers, Poets, and Friends will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will expand hours of operation and offerings in the coming weeks.