Since Jerry Katzoff and his business partner Brian Galligan bought Il Mulino in the West Village back in 2001, they’ve envisioned expanding the shrine to Abruzzo into an international empire. And slowly but surely, they’re amassing locations: In addition to a second Il Mulino New York on the Upper East Side, they’ve erected additional outlets in Miami, Vegas, and Tokyo, among other places, and they’ve spun off a second more casual concept, Trattoria Il Mulino, in Orlando (at Disney World) and Atlantic City.
And now, they’ll bring that second concept home: The city’s first Trattoria Il Mulino will open its doors at 36 East 20th Street next week.
Trattoria Il Mulino, explains Katzoff, is nicer than low-end Italian chains like Olive Garden and Maggiano’s but more relaxed than high-end restaurants like Il Mulino when it comes to both the space and the food. “It’s somewhere in the middle, and we think we have a niche there,” he says. “This restaurant could be in every neighborhood.”
And because it played well in Atlantic City, where it exists next to an Il Mulino New York, the partners thought it would do well in NYC, too. “We thought we’d try one in Manhattan where people know our brand very well,” says Katzoff. “The idea is to attract a younger, more price-sensitive crowd. Our average price ranges from $40-$55.” The New York City Trattoria Il Mulino, he says, will also be less formal with a much bigger bar. It might also feature weekend entertainment.
But the food, he says, “will still be our food. You won’t be able to go to Trattoria and get the same dish, but the menu is driven by Il Mulino.” Executive chef Michael Mazza developed the menu for both concepts, and at the younger sibling, he’s installing a sizable list that covers antipasti like grilled octopus and ricotta meatballs, cured meats and imported cheeses, raw bar offerings, seasonal soups and salads, pizza, pastas that include classics like spaghetti and meatballs and linguine with clams as well as specialties like pappardelle with lobster marinara, plus a number of meat- and fish-focused entrees. A separate brunch menu struts through a number of egg dishes–including an eggs benedict with smoked salmon and caviar and poached eggs in spicy tomato sauce–in addition to hearty dishes like sausage ossobucco, fried ravioli in hollandaise, and an egg-topped pizza.
Assuming this location does well, Katzoff also says the partners will think about more spots in the city. “We definitely have our eye open,” he notes. “We’ll test out the market with this one.” The partners also have plans to expand both concepts in other cities: Trattoria Il Mulino hits Nashville later this year, and Il Mulino New York goes into South Beach in about a month.
Trattoria Il Mulino opens on September 4 and will be open for lunch (or brunch on the weekend) and dinner daily.
Editors note: This post originally listed Trattoria Il Mulino’s opening date as September 3; it is actually September 4.
Hit the next page to see the menus.