New St. Paul spot: Il Vescovino
That's the name of the place that will be taking over the Vintage on Selby Avenue, come Sept. 28. I got some lowdown about the new place and am excited for it to open. Here's what I know:
Il Vescovino will be owned by Frank Marchionda, owner of Buon Giorno and Osteria I Nonni, along with a business partner; the current manager of I Nonni is coming over to get the new operation going. Their plan is to specialize in southern Italian food and wine, with an emphasis on Naples/Campania. The restaurant will have four parts: a taverna on the first floor, a dining room on the second floor, a special-events room on the third floor, and -- the thing I'm excited about -- a self-sufficient kitchen, complete with wood-burning pizza oven, on the patio (which will open next spring). The overall feel is supposed to be casual, vs. the fine-dining approach of I Nonni.
That said, the wine list will be massive, and they'll pour quartinos (small decanters that hold about a glass and a half. I think Babbo in NYC was the first place to do this). Marchionda & Co. are applying to take over the liquor license from the Vintage; my fingers are crossed that they don't hit any snags. I need Il Vescovino to be up and running for my early October birthday.