Don't let the name confuse you: The Bowery Kitchen may have soup on the menu, but it's a far cry from the other sorts of kitchens that used to serve the neighborhood, once upon a time. Situated inside part hotel/part museum The Bowery House, The Bowery Kitchen will turn out reasonably-priced Nouveau Italian cuisine—"old world Italian specialties with a chic New York twist"—starting tomorrow morning, in a dark yet cozy dining space. The dining and bar areas contrast dark walls, ceilings and furniture with bright pops of light from illuminated fixtures, votive candles and neon signs instructing patrons to "Drink" and "Eat." Touches of whimsical art from famous Italian artists adorn the walls and provide colorful accents to tabletops.

Early risers can nibble breakfast staples like french toast, served here with caramelized bananas, fresh berries, creme fraiche and maple syrup; or an egg sandwich with prosciutto, avocado and fontina cheese while sipping Italian Espresso from Caffe Bristot. Lunchtime means freshly assembled panini stuffed with prosciutto, brie and mango chutney and porchetta sandwiches with fresh tomato, baby spinach and hummus. A variety of salads and soups complete the midday meal, though hearty fare is available all day should you be in the mood. Lasagna spins away from the classical bolognese presentation to include salmon, pesto and potato nestled between layers of whole wheat pasta. A three cheese pizza ($4) can be fortified with additions of speck and diced pepperoni ($2) or lighter options like mushrooms and spinach. Best of all, no dish on the menu tops $16.

Nothing too shocking on the beer list ($5-$8), although the restaurant will pour its own namesake "Bowery Brew," but the wine list ($7-$10) includes bottles from across Italy, like a 2010 Sicilian Nero D'Avola-Montoni and a nice selection of sparkling wines. Fresh squeezed juices and espresso drinks will placate breakfast patrons with mimosas and bellinis available for brunchers and vacationers.

220 Bowery // (212) 837-2370 // Open 7 a.m. to 2 a.m.

The Bowery Kitchen Menu