Dale Talde, David Massoni, and John Bush are gearing up to open what will be their first-ever Manhattan project together. Dubbed Massoni, this new Italian-inspired restaurant will inhabit two floors of the brand new Arlo Nomad Hotel at 11 East 31st Street. In addition to the restaurant and an adjacent second floor lounge, the team will also operate a rooftop bar with views of the Empire State Building called The Heights, plus a grab-and-go counter inside the lobby.
Talde describes the menu at Massoni (named after his business partner) as "Italian-ish," with dishes that will incorporate the best of "what’s at arm’s length." The starters section will likely include arancini made with biryani instead of arborio, and for breakfast, Talde might serve kimchi fried rice as a nod to K-Town, just outside the hotel's front door. The chef tells Eater: "I’ve never done traditional food, but I really love the idea of, ‘Where are you in the city?’" Massoni adds: "The whole menu is going to have some things that will lean somewhat toward traditional Italian, and then some things are going to be completely off the rails — using New York City as the influence." The restaurant will offer house-extruded pasta, and pizzas that will be cooked in pans. Talde is quick to note that he’s not trying to emulate any particular regional style, but the chef and Massoni both cite Pizza Hut as an influence. "We’re trying to do that much better," Talde explains.
Although the restaurant is opening in a shiny new hotel, Massoni says that they designed the space to "feel like an older restaurant that had already been there." The walls will have weathered murals, and the flooring is being fashioned out of wood salvaged from a hundred-year-old garage on the Upper West Side. Massoni will seat around 60 people in the main dining room, plus 10 guests at the bar. The tables in the lounge area might also be used for large group dining.
Situated 31 stories above the street, The Heights will serve drinks that John Bush is naming after all the great "heights" of NYC — like Jackson, Brooklyn, and Dyker. Downstairs, Bush is putting together a drinks list with riffs on classic Italian cocktails. The wine list will have a special emphasis on Italian varietals.
The counter in the lobby will be open throughout the day with a menu that will include coffee, prepared sandwiches, pizza slices, drinks, and snacks. Massoni explains: "We wanted it to feel like a New York counter. Obviously it's very high-design because it’s in the lobby, but we want it to feel and look like you might pass it every day and get your coffee or a slice of pizza or a bottle of water on your way home."
The Arlo Nomad is now booking rooms for October 15 and beyond. The company is also opening another hotel at 231 Hudson Street down in Hudson Square this year, which will feature Harold Moore’s long-in-the-works project Harold’s Meat and Three.
Next year, Talde, Bush, and Massoni will also debut a handful of new venues in a hotel down in Chinatown. Stay tuned for more details on the opening of Massoni and The Heights as they become available