WHAT’S OLD IS NEW

AF­TER HEADING A STRING OF TRENDY AND TOP-RATED ITAL­IAN SPOTS, SCOTT CONANT WANTS TO FEED PEO­PLE JUST LIKE HIS GRAND­MOTHER USED TO.

Gotham - - Contents - BY CHUCK ANSBACHER

Af­ter heading a string of trendy and top-rated Ital­ian spots, Scott Conant wants to feed peo­ple just like his grand­mother used to.

As Scott Conant de­buts Fusco, his in­ti­mate Ital­ian out­post in the Flat­iron District’s re­cently va­cated Ver­i­tas space, he faces a chal­lenge fa­mil­iar to chefs of his dis­tinc­tion: Cre­ate an ex­pe­ri­ence that’s con­sis­tent with his brand (L’im­pero, Scar­petta, Im­pero Caffè) but un­like any that has come be­fore it. For the James Beard Award win­ner—who has opened Mora Ital­ian, in Phoenix, and The Ponte, in LA, in the last few months— the so­lu­tion comes with a healthy por­tion of old­world hos­pi­tal­ity.

The name: “I named it af­ter my grand­mother. When­ever any­one would show up to her house, there was some­thing there— whether it was cof­fee or cake or a full meal. It was this idea of old-world hos­pi­tal­ity that res­onates with ev­ery­one. That’s my big­gest in­spi­ra­tion from her.” The dish: “We are work­ing on a lob­ster and mas­car­pone gnudi. It has all the prin­ci­ples and val­ues of what a true gnudi is, plus some lob­ster in every bite so there’s that tex­tu­ral ex­pe­ri­ence.” The vibe: “It’s go­ing to be a se­ri­ous res­tau­rant, but the goal is to not take our­selves very se­ri­ously. I don’t want to be stuffy or pre­ten­tious, but I want it to be an ex­pres­sion of high end.” Sat­is­fac­tion: “We’ll still have The Stones play­ing. We’ll still have good mu­sic that we can all iden­tify with. And it’s a place where I can use a lot of the lux­ury in­gre­di­ents that I love and peo­ple love to eat.” 43 E. 20th St., 212-777-5314; fus­conewyork.com

Chef Scott Conant is bring­ing old-world hos­pi­tal­ity to his new res­tau­rant, Fusco, which will of­fer sea­son­al­lyin­spired à la carte

dishes and tast­ing menu op­tions.

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