LITTLE ITALY — Capri Ristorante is bringing traditional food with a modern twist to Little Italy.
Opened by the same team behind Local 92 in the East Village, Eolo in Chelsea and Ciao Trattoria in Nolita, the 4,000-square-foot space at 145 Mulberry St. opened its doors Friday.
It's meant to transport diners to Capri circa 1960, with exposed brick walls adorned with iconic photos of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Valentino on the island's streets and large landscapes.
“We are so excited to bring the cuisine and breezy ambiance of the beautiful island of Capri to Little Italy, a melting pot of culture within the city,” said owner Marcello Assante, of the East Village's Local 92, Chelsea's Eolo and Ciao Trattoria in Nolita. “We aim to make Capri a destination for locals and visitors looking for an authentic taste of Italy through quality Italian food and great service.”
Imported colorful ceramics and tiling decorate the floors, walls and are embedded in the handmade wooden tables. Many can be purchased at the front of the restaurant or on the restaurant's website.
The restaurant seats 130 at round tables and banquettes, as well as an expansive 30-seat sidewalk cafe, and holds more seats and standing room at the cocktail bar.
At the helm in the kitchen is Italian chef Franco Aliberti, winner of a "Best Chef Under 30" award from an Italian publication and a frequent fixture on Italian cooking shows, bringing with him experience as the head pastry chef at two Michelin-starred restaurants in Italy.
Aliberti crafted a menu of seasonal Italian food with fresh seafood brought in daily, selected to pair with options from the restaurant's wine list, curated by sommelier Daniele Mazella, who is also an import from Capri with experience as a sommelier there.
Featured dishes include spaghetti with homemade Sunday sauce and Grandma's-style meatballs, whole Branzino grilled Mediterranean-style, Grigliata di Pesce featuring grilled shrimp, calamari, half a lobster and fish of the day served over pasta, a grilled veal chop, homemade brick oven pizza and large family-style portions of chicken and veal Parmigiana or Milanese.
Capri, 145 Mulberry St., 212-625-2626, www.caprinyc.com. Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to midnight.