After months of hype, tonight’s the official opening of Una Pizza Napoletano on Orchard Street. But if you walked past the restaurant at 175 Orchard St. over the weekend, you know they were in “soft-open mode” for anyone willing to pay cash and to forego a glass of wine.
This evening’s Lower East Side debut marks the triumphant return to the neighborhood of Anthony Mangieri after a decade in San Francisco. He’s teamed up with hot-shot chefs Jeremiah Stone and Fabián von Hauske Valtierra of Contra and Wildair. Yes, they are building a mini-empire on Orchard Street.
We stopped by Saturday evening a little before 7. The 72-seat dining room was about three-quarters full. Mangieri was toiling away in a glass-enclosed work area, preparing his famous 12-inch Neapolitan pies (they’ll set you back $25 each). Stone and Von Hauske Valtierra are offering up small plates to complement the pizzas, as well as their natural wines and classic-inspired Italian desserts (we tried the tiramisu). The pizza is only serbed at the tables, while the rest of the menu is available at the bar.
For now, Una Pizza Napoletano is open from 5:30-11 p.m. The liquor license is not yet in hand, so the wine won’t be available for a few days.