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Astoria Panini Eatery Il Bambino to Open Manhattan Location

By Jeanmarie Evelly | January 5, 2015 7:58am | Updated on January 6, 2015 6:34pm
 Il Bambino, an Astoria restaurant known for its panini, will open a second location in Manhattan.
Il Bambino, an Astoria restaurant known for its panini, will open a second location in Manhattan.
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ASTORIA — A neighborhood favorite is crossing the bridge to Manhattan.

Astoria eatery Il Bambino, known for its fancy panini sandwiches and tapas-style dishes, is opening a second location in Greenwich Village, according to owner Darren Lawless.

The Manhattan outpost will be located at 48 W. 8th St. and will offer the same concept as the original Queens location at 34-08 31st Ave.

"I can't wait to get going," said Lawless, who described Il Bambino as a "sophisticated sandwich shop." Its menu includes antipasti like cheese, meats and olives, and tapas including marinated sardines and fingerling potato salad.

But the restaurant is best known for its crostini — pieces of toasted bread heaped with toppings — and its signature panini sandwiches, with options like roast chicken with mozzarella, arugula and spicy mayo, or a prosciutto with gorgonzola dolce and fig spread.

"We try to keep it simple and smart with how we marry flavors together," Lawless said.

The West 8th Street location will offer closet to the same menu as the Astoria eatery, though with a few tweaks, including some panini that were only offered as occasional specials.

The new site will serve beer and wine as well as brunch, with egg-filled panini that will also be available during late night hours on the weekends, according to Lawless.

He was originally hoping to open the Manhattan location this past fall, but construction took longer than expected. They are now hoping for a springtime opening, Lawless said.

"I want to share my product, I want to share what we do with as many people as we can," he said. "I think that everybody should have an Il Bambino in their neighborhood."