Keith McNally, the unassuming media darling behind such influential restaurants as Odeon, Balthazar, and the impenetrable new Minetta Tavern, this week opened his latest venture, Pulino's Bar and Pizzeria. Located at the corner of Bowery and Houston, the spacious, sun-drenched restaurant is helmed by Chef Nate Appleman, one of the few American pizzaiolos certified by the Verace Pizza Napoletana Association. For those mortals who can't get into Minetta, or would prefer not to spend a bundle at Balthazar or Pastis, Pulino's looks to be a slightly more approachable addition to the ever-charming McNally portfolio. Don't be discouraged by the crime scene theme—"Don’t Cross the Line" is emblazoned on servers' T-shirts, and some tables are made from wooden police barricades—reservations are accepted here.

Dinner service begins March 26th, but for now Pulino's (named for one of McNally's longtime staffers Kate Pulino) is easing into things with breakfast and lunch. Pizza expert Adam Kuban at Slice describes Appleman's "Bowery-style pizza as a nice mixture of New Haven and bar-style pizza." Besides pizza, other lunch options include a Roasted Spanish Mackerel with grapefruit, olives, shallots, and radicchio ($29); a Pulino's Sausage with roasted onions and peppers ($19); and a Semolina Gnocchi, Roman-style with chicken and tomato ($12/$19). Breakfast comes with choices like kale fritatta, a blueberry jam pizza, and roasted grapefruit. And once dinner drops, the menu will be beefed up with a limited-edition "midnight burger" special, made from meat ground in house.

282 Bowery // (212) 226-1966