Being too out there can bring you down (see: Auto, Florent, Icarus).
And then there are second chances, like today when Noel Cruz’s beloved Elettaria is reborn as Carmine Club Cafe.
From the ashes of that extinct wonder emerge earthy, source-conscious Mediterranean dishes like charred octopus with quinoa and romesco, oxtail braised with unsweetened cocoa, and a bresaola-topped pork burger on a coriander bun.
Hot-as-Hades flames lick chef Joe Vigorito’s (Lupa, Dell’Anima) pan in the former tenement’s open kitchen. Downstairs, the warmth continues: eat off mismatched antique china (pictured) in a private celebration-ready space. (The wedding soup — with capon, black kale, and veal meatballs — gives us an event idea.)
We dig the old-timey decor (library ladder, Bowery-sourced antiques, industrial gooseneck sconces, a circa-1900 NYC street photo) and could write epic poems fueled by the whiskey-barrel aged ale and tap-pulled local wine. And when the “intense” Stumptown coffee program and lunch and brunch finally come together, it’ll give us wings.
Carmine Club Cafe, 41-43 Carmine Street, between Bedford and Bleecker Streets (212-933-0527 or carmineclubcafe.com).
Photo: Janelle Jones