They weren't going for a second tricked-out roadhouse, though. "It's our version of Italian American," Newman said at the time. "We're drawing from the Mafioso era of great Italian food but done more at a superlative, hip level. This is not your usual red sauce kind of place. It's kind of like what we do here at Interstate applied to this type of food."
After a remodel to turn the place into a swanky hide-out a la 1970s-era Italian steakhouses, the guys are getting ready to open their new haunt next week.
And, as promised, their opening board isn't just a pedestrian list of red sauce Italian. The menu features pumpkin and pear soup, bread salad, roasted game hen and buffalo osso bucco. A few classics made the cut, too, channeled in a hot steak sandwich with giardiniera and eggplant Parmesan. A long list of salumi supplements everything else on the menu. And for dessert? Spumoni, tiramisu and New York-style cheesecake.
The partners are adamant that their place become as much of a drinking destination as a dinner stop, so they've also put together a long list of libations that fit the theme. Cocktails are heavily Italian liqueur focused -- as are the housemade cellos -- and they're complemented by a mostly Italian wine list and beers from all over the globe (though Moretti and Peroni certainly have a place). There's also, of course, a grappa section.
The guys are hoping to hold a soft opening early next week, but that may not happen: "We're on a truncated schedule because our construction was a little delayed," says Aaron Lobato. "So our soft opening may go by the wayside. We'll definitely be open to the public by Thursday."
The restaurant will hold a grand opening sometime after that.