Well in advance of the opening of his newest restaurant, Moro, Pino Luongo has embarked on something of a goodwill tour.
During a recent interview about Italian cooking on Ozersky.TV, the Florence-born restaurateur, who currently owns Centolire on the Upper East Side, took the opportunity to address his competition. The self-professed “old fart” saved his worst words for Locanda Verde, decrying it as “the worst Italian food I’ve ever had in New York. … If that’s Italian food, I’m Chinese.”
But Luongo is generous with his invective, also lavishing it upon Del Posto (“the least favorite restaurant” of the Batali-Bastianich empire), Eataly (“I would have expect, for a place like that, to be overwhelmed … for me, it’s not even scratching the surface of what’s supposed to be there”), Marea (“Michael is doing his own interpretation of Italian cuisine … it’s fine for me but it’s not really what I consider an authentic seafood restaurant Italian-style”).
It’s all OK, though — Luongo says he’s “good friends” with Andrew Carmellini, who will, one assumes, harbor his own warm sentiments toward Moro when it opens later this spring.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 3, 2011