052308scarpetta.jpgScarpetta: Chef Scott Conant (L’Impero, Alto) has opened a new restaurant on West 14th Street called Scarpetta (pictured), which is an Italian expression meaning “little shoe” – or the shape bread takes when used to soak up a dish. The 70-seat restaurant features a retractable roof in the main dining room, alfresco dining out front, and a long mahogany bar offering a separate menu and some “wine-inspired” cocktails. Conant’s ingredients here are, of course, seasonal and “farm fresh,” ranging from small tasting plates to fuller entrees such as imported ricotta raviolini with chicken livers and spinach puree, and boneless osso buco with saffron-parmigiano orzo . 355 West 14th Street, (212) 691-0555.

Hundred Acres:
Marc Meyer and Vicki Freeman were fed up with the way their Macdougal Street restaurant Provence had become just “a special-occasion restaurant.” According to Eater they “want a place that people would be happy coming to all the time” – not a bad goal for a restaurateur. So they gutted the space and have reopened as Hundred Acres, a more casual iteration of the stuffier predecessor. Two back rooms filled with wooden tables and herb planters are meant to evoke a contemporary farmhouse; up front the classic white subway tiles by the bar suggest an old-timey butcher shop. Currently open for dinner only, the rustic American menu features modestly-priced entrees (the most expensive is $22, most cost much less) like walnut pesto pasta or the corned beef tongue with multigrain bread, mache and ramp relish. 38 Macdougal Street, (212) 475-7500.

Vino: Upper East Siders don’t have to be envious of all the wine bars opening downtown; the trend is catching on in their neighborhood, too! Located between 66th and 67th Street, Vino is owned by the Florence natives behind Mediterraneo. Andrea Strong reports that the 70-seat room strives for Italian authenticity with a “cozy and rustic” vibe, distinguished by modern Italian music, floor to ceiling windows, vintage chandeliers, big soccer matches on the TV and plenty of those Italian wine bottles wrapped in rope. For drinking, they’ve got over 60 exclusively Italian wines to accompany small plates like marinated Italian anchovies with butter and toasted bread. Heartier fare includes a Lasagna Bolognese with bechamel sauce. 1268 Second Avenue, (212) 744-5370.

Photo courtesy Daniel Krieger/Scarpetta.