The B. Hospitality guys (The Bristol, Balena) will open the doors to their sprawling ode to mid-century southern Italian-American cuisine, Formento's, today, after unveiling the adjoining sandwich and retail shop, Nonna's, yesterday.
Inside the 8,000-square-foot, 130-seat, two-floor Formento's lies multiple dining rooms and a long bar and lounge. Tables are covered with white cloth, booths and banquettes are plush and crimson, the walls are brick, the floors are made of subway tile or hardwood.
The menu isn't ready at press time, but nearly everything here should be done on a grand scale. Expect large portions of throwback Italian-American dishes that partner John Ross attributes to his nonna and they've previewed at events, such as a whole-bird chicken vesuvio, a 96-layer lasagna, the massive pasta creation timpano, and Italian wedding soup. Desserts include baked Alaska and a 9-layer chocolate cake. A release proclaims a 600-bottle-deep wine list, including 120 mostly regional Italian varietals.
The kitchen staff is also deep, with executive chef Tony Quartaro running a back-of-the-house team that includes former Leghorn chef Sieger Bayer, former NoMI chef de cuisine Sean Pharr, and pastry chef Sarah Koechling, while Alinea and Tribeca Grill vet Steve Morgan serves as wine director.
Formento's opens for the first time at 4:30 p.m.
UPDATE: Some of the previewed items didn't make the final menu, which is below.