The ‘Stephen Asprinio Brand’ Wins Over CB1, Fails to Impress Florida


In June, former Top Chef repeat offender Stephen Asprinio announced his plans to open Pizza Vino Teca, a pizzeria in the Financial District. Thanks to the whims of CB1, he’s now one step closer to his goal.

DNA Info reports that the community board granted Asprinio advisory approval for a beer and wine license for the restaurant, which will serve grilled thin-crust pizza and is projected to open in February (its original opening date was Jan. 1). At least one pizza will feature Chianti-leavened dough, which is one way to distinguish yourself.

Asprinio noted that the combination of pizza and a glass of wine is “recession-proof.” It isn’t, however, critic-proof, or management-proof. And that may prove relevant to Asprinio, who left his last full-time job, as the managing partner of Forte di Asprinio in West Palm Beach, FL, amid accusations he was fired by the restaurant’s owner. Judging by the comments attached to a Palm Beach Post story about Asprinio’s departure, he seems to have made his share of enemies. “It’s about time that douche-bag looser [sic] got what he deserved,” reads one typical sentiment.

Asprinio claimed he left the restaurant bearing his name in order to take on “huge” projects in Las Vegas and Abu Dhabi. Going by Asprinio’s website, neither seems to have materialized. The website does note, however, that he was mentioned in Page Six for his “breakout role” in Top Chef Season 1, and formed his own company, S.A. Hospitality Innovations, in order to “oversee the development of the Stephen Asprinio brand.”