The Carbone Before Carbone? What? There has been quite a bit of confusion of late in the New York and New York Italian Restaurant World … The confusion is of Carbone and Carbone, Carbone Restorante of 38th Street in New York’s Hells Kitchen and Carbone, thee “Carbone” of 181 Thompson Street in Greenwich Village … As of this moment, Saturday March 30, 2013 thee # 1 Hottest Restaurant in Town, the restaurant of-the-moment and the one who is making all kind of noise in the Press, on the Internet and other media outlets is the Carbone on Thompson Street in the old “Rocco’s Restaurant Space” in Greenwich Village, which that right there has caused quite a lot of commotion. The fat that the so-called Torrisi Boys took over the old and beloved Old-School New York Italian Red-Sauce Joint “Rocco’s” has caused quite a stir.
For those of you who might not know, “The Torrisi Boys” are the team of Rich Torrisi, Mario Carbone, and Jeff Zalaznich, with Zalaznick the so-called “Money Man” and Carbone and Torrisi the Restaurant Guys and Chefs. This team exploded onto the scene about three years ago with their first place Torrisi Italian Specialties on Mulberry Street. The Guys had a great idea and concept. Torrisi Italian Specialties was a small place that barely sat about 30 people, I beleive. It was operated as a sort-of Italian-Deli during the day, selling mostly; Chicken Parm Sandwiches, Meatball Parms, and there famous Fresh Roast Turkey Sandwiches and other sandwiches, along with a couple soups and a few pastas. In the evening the place operated as a restaurant with one option a Five-Course Set Menu for $55 … Both the lunch (daytime) and Dinner as the 5 Course Meal were excellent. Torrisi Italian Specialties quickly became a immediate and huge success as well as the two Co/Chef Owners Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi became huge as Chef Personalities and media-darlings. Yes Torrisi was a great success and it was less than a year and a half when this team opened a second place next door, called “Parm” which served at both lunch and dinner the kind of food the original Torrisi Italian Specialties served just for lunch, Italian and Italian-American Classic, with a Chinese Ribs thrown in as a a quirky special. Once the opened the 2nd place Parm next door, they turned their first place Torrisi Italian Specialties into set menu dinner only restaurant with no more Lunch Time Italian Deli, that was Parm next door.
OK, move forward a couple years. The much loved Red-Sauce Classic Rocco’s Restorante on Thompson Street is losing their lease. The landlord as in so many sad New York “Greedy Lanlord” stories jacks-up Rocco’s Rent to a point where they can not afford to stay in business. Rocco’s had been doing good business, but not gang-busters and not enough to support the huge rent increase, they lose their lease. In move The Torrisi Boys, Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi, and Jeff Zalaznick. They sign a lease, and plan on opening what they call a 1950’s Downtown New York Old School Italian Restaurant. They renovate the old Rocco’s leaving the great old neon sign and superimposing in Neon Letters “Carbone,” some locals, any of whom are hard-core old-school Italians from the neighborhood “Don’t Like It.” There’s much action and talk on the internet on food and restaurant sites like, Grub Street, Eater, Chowhound and such. The talk on Carbone is both positive and negative.
Carbone opens to much fanfare in mid March 2013 to mixed reviews and comments on Eater, Chowhound and such. Carbone becomes the hottest ticket in town restaurant-wise. Many want to eat there and check it out. Tables are hard to come by, now the confusion. It seems as though “Carbone” is not the only Carbone in town? There’s another one, and it’s in midtown on 38th Street in Hells Kitchen, New York. It’s own by an Italain from Italy, who has never head of Mario Carbone the Chef/Owner who the Greenwich Village restaurant Carbone is named after. Some people trying to get reservations and don’t know any better, go on Open Table or call up the Hells Kitchen Carbone and get a reservation, “No Problem.” But they get a reservation for a table at the wrong Carbone, not the one they were intending. Even the famed long time New York City restaurant critic Gael Greene made this mistake. So what’s a person to do?
GAEL GREEN MAKES A MISTAKE at CARBONE
GAEL GREENE’S TWITTER TWEET @GaelGreene
Spent 20 minutes at wrong Carbone lasngt.Finally grumpy owner there gave me address of THE Essential new Carbone, Missed seeing TonyBennett.
38th STREET HELL’S KITCHEN “CARBONE”
IT’S EASY TO GET A TABLE AT CARBONE !!!