Things I'm looking forward to.
I was talking recently to Nicola Pietoso of Nicola's and his chef-son Cristian. They're excited about the new restaurant they've got planned for Fountain Square, even though work is going very slowly. They don't even really have a nailed-down lease yet. I'm excited, too. Cristian talked about how he plans to make all the classic Italian dishes, but the original, simple, best version of them.
That is such a great niche to fill. We were talking about how you can eat the world's great dishes many times without ever really understanding what the fuss is about. Great dishes become popular because they're so good, but because they're popular, they're made in all kinds of degraded ways. French onion soup made with bad beef bouillon and wimpy bread and too much cheese: have you ever wondered why it's a classic? Have the real thing, and you suddenly get it.
So I'm looking forward to seeing how this approach works at Via Vite i with spaghetti and pizza and bistecca Fiorentino and so on (I wonder if he'll do osso buco? that's one usually not done well.) It certainly won't be before this summer.