The Citiblog

Cucina 8 ½ Opens in Iconic NYC Space
December 8, 2021, 7:17.29 pm ET


Photos: Liz Clayman

Located in the iconic Solow Building on West 57th St, a legendary team is about to reintroduce New Yorkers to the iconic space. Cucina 8 ½ promises to bring back classic New York hospitality and the elegance of a bygone era.

The new restaurant is set to open December 15th in the space formally occupied by Brasserie 8 ½. It is being spearheaded by CIA Chairman Emeritus August Ceradini, Rachid Abdelouahad (formally Daniel), award winning chef John Villa, who has spearheaded some of the highest grossing celebrity hotspots, such as TAO Group and Philippe, and owned his own Portuguese eatery Pico, (which received an impressive three-star review in NYT), and the return of nightlife impresario Tommy Pooch (The Forge and Delano). The team has been waiting for a moment to get together for this exciting opening.

Chef John Villa

The new menu will celebrate old New York with an elevated Italian-American menu .The menu will feature housemade pastas with a rotating Italian regional menu, as well as Italian-American classics, including many tableside presentations.

Some standouts includes a full Crudo Bar with hand-selected local fish from fisherman Dave Pasternack, with options such as Diver Sea Scallops with citrus mostarda, almonds and lemon; Salmon Crudo with chive emulsion and crispy shallots; and Yellowfin Tuna Crudo ‘Tartare’, amongst others. Pastas and Pizzas will all also be prepared in-house with a classic Rigatoni Pomodoro with tomato and basil; Raviolo with egg yolk and parmesan. There also a Bone-In Aged Sirloin with vine tomato, roasted garlic and saba, as well as a Certified Angus Prime Porterhouse served tableside.

The bar will feature venerable classics with a selection of Negroni variations with smoking cocktails for aromatics. To bring back the Italian charm, 8 1/2 will also feature a pushcart with digestifs with Grapa, Amara and Vinsanto to complete the meal.

Cucina 8 1/2 is located at 8 1/2 W 57th St, New York, NY (212) 829-0812

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