Stuzzicheria is switching things up yet again*, and this time, the name is changing, too—to Pane Panelle, the sandwich spin-off that operates out of the side door. (On OpenTable it’s already been changed.)
From the PR rep: “Paul [Di Bari, the chef] has added some new sandwiches—Panelle, Egg & Cheese, Chicken Parm, “PLT” (Panelle, Lettuce, Tomato), and Pane Bagnato, his version of the Croque Monsieur), which are now available for lunch and dinner, alongside some pastas and entrées. He is keeping a few Stuzzicheria favorites but also adding new items and they’ve created a new cocktail list. The same design team who did [new sister restaurant] Zi Pep in the East Village will be making some small changes to the restaurant—warmer tones (burgundy instead of brown), sleeker brasserie bar stools, and some new furniture. The sandwich shop will stay in place and operate longer hours, 12–10 p.m.”
What I really want to know: Has anyone asked Paul Bettany what he thinks about all this?
UPDATE: I went for dinner. The sign on the window already says Pane Panelle. (Which is pronounced pah-nay pah-nell, by the way, as if it’s half Italian.) The menu has Stuzzicheria deliciousness on it, as well as Pane Panelle sandwiches (which come with a plastic cup of caponata, as if you’d ordered it in…?). Also: Bartender Max appears to be cooking.
* The history:
1. August 2010: Stuzzicheria opens with Mike Franzetti as the chef and Bar Stuzzichini’s Paul Di Bari consulting.
2. November 2010: Di Bari leaves.
3. April 2011: Franzetti leaves to be the chef at Dean Street in Brooklyn.
4. April 2011: Ron Suhanosky, founder of Sfoglia, is hired as chef.
5. April 2011: The decor and food change.
6. August 2011: Suhanosky leaves, to be replaced by Paul Di Bari (see #1).
7. August 2011: Pane Panelle, the restaurant-within-a-restaurant, opens.