Michael White’s Cooking Up an Italian Truck Stop


Eater attended last night’s CB2 meeting and learned a bit more about Michael White’s upcoming venture at 218 Lafayette Street. Commensurate with his move downtown, the chef is going a bit more down-market: He’s planning “an Italian version of a truck stop” that won’t have tablecloths or reservations.

Despite the more casual setting and reportedly affordable pricing, White plans to keep the 94-seat restaurant’s focus on fine-dining; the menu, inspired by the foods of Italy’s Tavoliere region, will feature pasta that’s made by hand daily (per the restaurant’s reps, it will be the same pasta White serves uptown), as well as a surfeit of grilled meat. The restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and thanks to the community board’s stipulations, will close a 1 a.m. and not have live music or outdoor seating.

Also of note: Although reports of its global expansion would indicate otherwise, the Shake Shack is not a universally beloved venture. Plans for its Prince Street outpost hit a snag last night when the neighbors showed up to protest its application for a beer and wine license. Citing lines, trash, noise, and the “sacrilegious” act of eating a hamburger while looking out over the cemetary of the church across the street, residents voiced their opposition to the Shack’s planned rooftop area, which would seat 59 customers mere feet from neighbors’ apartments (did the Cooper Square Hotel teach us nothing?). A rep from the Union Square Hospitality Group ultimately withdrew the application, but it’s safe to say that application or no application, Shake Shack’s coming to Nolita.


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