UPPER WEST SIDE — A healthier, snazzier version of Arte Café is on its away to the neighborhood at the end of this month.
Arte Pasta at 215 West 85th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam, will be "a family restaurant," serving "quintessential neighborhood Italian," said owner Marc Ornetti.
But unlike its West 73rd Street counterpart, Arte Pasta will offer "a healthier version to our thin-crusted pizza," with whole wheat crust available and whole wheat pastas also on the menu, Ornetti said.
New dishes like Blue Point oysters for $1 each, imported salumi and cheeses and a selection of "crudi served on Himalayan pink salt blocks" will also help set it apart, said Ornetti. Homemade focaccia will bake in a special oven imported from Padua, and the restaurant will serve wine by the glass "from small vineyards," he said.
With an "environmentally sustainable eco-friendly" ethos, the chain is spreading rapidly. The NYC-based franchise has seven locations in Manhattan, two in Brooklyn, and four in Queens.
Along with organic menu options for vegans and vegetarians, and the traditional beef burger, the chain offers patties made with elk, bison, ostrich and boar.
"The Upper West Side is also very health-oriented, which is a big component of Bareburger’s all-natural brand," said Kelly Gedinsky, of Winick Realty Group, who helped broker the deal with the Columbus Square landlords.
The 1,875 square-foot spot joins a Sephora, Crumbs, Whole Foods, Michael’s Arts & Crafts, HomeGoods and Starbucks. The Columbus Square area recently saw the addition of indie coffee shop and eatery Birch Coffee, which also has an eco-friendly vibe and serves up organic coffee and mainly vegetarian food.
A new restaurant called Nicky Meatballs is opening up in the former Good Enough to Eat space, which moved in August from its longtime Amsterdam Avenue and West 83rd Street address to Columbus Avenue and West 85th Street.
Restaurateur and chef Nick Mormando of Bello Giardino on West 71st Street said his "famous" meatballs will be the centerpiece of his new restaurant.
Nicky Meatball will serve Mormando's award-winning beef and pork meatballs, as well as lamb meatballs, sliders and a meatball parmesan hero.
Mormando said his goal is to make the new spot a "neighborhood place" with reasonable prices along a swath of Amsterdam Avenue saturated with bars. The space hasn't been renovated in some 30 years, so a large overhaul will soon be under way with a late November opening date planned, he said.
The highly anticipated restaurant RedFarm from chef Joe Ng and Chinese foodie Ed Schoenfeld that the owners claimed would open at West 77th Street and Broadway this spring is delayed again by construction. A new opening date hasn't been picked, according to a restaurant rep.
Greek neighborhood favorite Kefi plans to reopen in October, a restaurant rep said. The eatery has been closed since early 2013 after a pipe burst in the building, badly damaging the space and its new neighbor, Casa Pomona, which reopened in August.