White & Church Not So Conventional, After All… Brandy Topped with Scorpions, Anyone?


When we first heard that the kooky Il Matto was changing its name and concept after just 10 months in operation and pretty decent reviews, it sounded like the aim was to go bland. The owners told Diner’s Journal they wanted to make the place “more casual and less scary.” In other words, less odd and more like every other Italian restaurant in New York. According to the New York Post, it sounds like they may have exaggerated just how conventional the new concept would be.

Hopping on the microtrend of edible insects, White & Church is serving $14 cocktails garnished with bugs. Not exactly run-of-the-mill, right? In addition to the martinis flavored with river stones served at Il Matto, there’s a tobacco- and sugar-infused brandy drink topped with scorpions; a coconut, crème caramel, and cricket piña colada; and tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, avocado, and red pepper cocktail with Mexican worms. Chef and co-owner Matteo Boglione and his mixologist wife, Christina Bini, say the insects are high in protein. And, besides, people eat snails, right? Um, right.