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Sicilian Seafood Restaurant Opening in SoHo

 The lemon branzino at Piccola Cucina Estiatorio, opening Wednesday on Thompson Street.
The lemon branzino at Piccola Cucina Estiatorio, opening Wednesday on Thompson Street.
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Piccola Cucina Estiatorio

SOHO — A Sicilian-born chef and restaurateur is opening a new seafood joint on Thompson Street.

Piccola Cucina Estiatorio will be Chef Philip Guardione's fourth venture, in addition to two other Piccola Cucinas in SoHo — one on Prince Street and the other on Spring Street — and a third in Ibiza, Spain.

This iteration, at 75 Thompson St., will focus on Mediterranean seafood dishes from Sicily and Greece, with fresh fish imported daily from Sicily and displayed on a bed of ice in a bright blue, vintage Piaggo "Ape" car.

Guests are able to hand-select their fish, how it's prepared (broiled, grilled or fried) and a side of their choosing, as well as order from an array of shareable hot and cold appetizers, raw fish dishes and handmade pasta including spaghetti with sea urchin ($20), maccheroni with meat ragu and wild fennel ($17), gnocchi with shrimp and mushrooms ($18.50) or ravioli ($16).

The Greek salad at Piccola Cucina Estiatorio is $12. Credit: Piccola Cucina Estiatorio

The fish is priced by weight and served whole, and side dishes include lemon-dressed potatoes, sauteed spinach or grilled vegetables.

The arancini catanese, or rice balls, appetizer at Piccola Cucina Estiatorio is priced at $11. Credit: Piccola Cucina Estiatorio

Appetizers include tuna tartare ($17), prawns ($16), wild boar meatballs with mushrooms and black truffles ($14) and fennel and orange salad ($10).

The fritto misto appetizer at Piccola Cucina Estiatorio includes a variety of fried fish and vegetables for $16. Credit: Piccola Cucina Estiatorio

Meat entrees are also available, including lamb chops ($29.50) and grilled skirt steak ($28.50), as well as a selection of Italian desserts.

The wine list is dominated by small-batch Italian wines from Sicily available by the glass or bottle. Beer options are limited to Peroni. 

The 55-seat restaurant's rustic decor is inspired by Mediterranean "tavernas," with warm brick accents, distressed wood and nautical rope entwined around bottles of wine throughout the 900-square-foot space, plus a wall of built-in shelves stocked with dried pasta, olive oils and other imported Italian products. 

Floor-to-ceiling windows along the storefront bring in natural light during the day, while at night the place is lit by varied pendant lamps under a Grecian-inspired white-washed ceiling over mixed-wood tabletops.

Piccola Cucina Estiatorio, 75 Thompson St. between Prince and Spring Streets, 646-781-9183. Open Sunday through Thursday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m. to 12 a.m.