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BWW Features: News from DOPO EAST in NYC - Wine Room and New Chef

Dopo East is an elegant Italian restaurant located in a gracious townhouse on the Upper East Side. They are preparing for the season with a new wine room, new chef, new brunch menu, price-fixed lunch menu, and a beautiful all-weather enclosed outdoor garden. The dining room is ready for leisurely dining, too, with new seating including plush toffee-colored banquets with violet piping and deeply comfortable cushioned chairs.

Owner-architect Emilio Barletta and partner Pino Manica, the creators of the popular theater district Trattoria Dopo Teatro, together with Director of Operations Gianni Onofri, have brought this intimate restaurant featuring traditional, regional cuisine from Italy and an award-winning wine list to the Upper East Side.

Gianni Onofri, a certified sommelier (who has been with the team since 2001 and has managed restaurants in New York and Italy since the mid-1980s), has spearheaded the creation of the new private wine room with its own separate entrance and a wine cellar. With the new temperature-controlled space, the list has grown to a selection of 700 unique labels, predominantly Italian, but with an impressive collection from around the world. The cellar-complete with special spot lighting and wine-themed décor-is used for wine tastings, presentations of new wines by producers, wine pairings and special wine dinners. Because of their state-of-the-art Enomatic wine system that preserves the quality of opened bottles of wine, Dopo East is able offer premium and super premium wines by the glass.

Onofri has consistently won accolades for his wine lists including the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence and the Wine Enthusiast Award of Unique Distinction. Drawn from small, independent growers and worldwide distributors, the wines are distinctive and individual.

For example, on a recent trip to Italy, he discovered the wines of Societa Agricola Marabino, and was impressed by their focus on the care of the land and their use of biodynamic agricultural methods. In particular, he recommends their Chardonnay Eureka, straw yellow in color, fresh and soft with fruit and flower notes, paired with branzino in sea salt crust. He also recommends their Nero D'Avola Archimede. With its?intense ruby red color and notes of ripe red fruits, full body and velvety tannins, it is perfect for pairing with roasted meats such as the grilled aged rib eye.

Working in concert with the recently appointed Executive Chef Giuseppe Moschiano, Onofri and his team can recommend wine pairings for any meal. Moschiano, who is originally from Naples and cooked since 2009 at Palazzo Mastroddi in L'Aquila, Italy carries on the restaurant's mission of offering a healthy, Italian menu that is locally inspired with produce from the Union Square market, and a selection of organically grown vegetables, hormone-free meats, and fresh seafood, with an emphasis on traditional, regional fare. He also creates his own house-baked breads-a staple on every table-including focaccia and ciabbata and fresh pastas from scratch.

His new menu for includes appetizers such as salsiccia e rapini, spicy Italian sausages, roasted to perfection and served over sautéed broccoli rabe; polentina valtellinese con fonduta di formaggio e tartufo, rich and creamy soft polenta melting with cheese and infused with black truffles; zuppetta del golfo e velette di pane tostato, a light stew of mussels, shrimp and Manila clams in a piquant tomato broth with thinly sliced garlic toast.

For the pasta course this season, there's pappardelle al sugo di manzo, wide ribbons of pasta presented with a generous portion of fork-tender braised beef short ribs in a red wine demiglace; ravioli di zucca e ricotta, pumpkin and ricotta cheese-filled ravioli with butter and sage; and fettuccine ai funghi, fresh fettuccine with an abundance of wild mushrooms with garlic and extra virgin olive oil.

Entrees include meat dishes that will warm you from the inside out such as ossobuco alla Milanese, succulent braised veal shank with aromatic saffron risotto; and involtini di pollo in salsa di noci e verdure grigliate, thin breast of chicken rolled with speck and fontina cheese in a special walnut sauce with grilled vegetables. On the lighter, but still deeply satisfying side, seafood dishes include rana pescatrice alle erbe e caponatine di verdure, tender, pan-seared monkfish medallions in a delicate sauce of white wine and fresh herbs; and spiedino di gamberoni e capesante, large, juicy shrimp grilled on a skewer and baked scallops with lemon and olive oil dressing, accompanied by grilled polenta and baked tomato.

Desserts include such classics as tiramisu, traditional ricotta cheesecake and a selection of assorted Italian cheeses. As a way of introducing guests to one of his favorite dessert wine, Onofri offers complementary moscato, a sweet, crisp wine, also from Marabino, with the dessert course.

Brunch is a perfect meal to enjoy dining in the glass-enclosed plant-filled backyard garden, temperature controlled for year-round enjoyment with a retractable glass roof. Offered weekend from noon-4pm, the menu features decidedly Italian egg dishes including frittata di cipolle, a traditional onion frittata, and uova al tegamino, oven baked eggs in tomato sauce, and uovo strapazzate e pancetta, scrambled eggs with pancetta, house-baked breads, home fries and salads. Guests can also choose pastas (lasagna, penne al pomodoro e basilica, spaghetti all carbonara) and main dishes such as grilled chicken with arugula and tomato.

Brunch is also a great time to try some refreshing cocktails including the Bellini, Rossini, or the Aperol spritz (a refreshing blend of the bittersweet aperitif and sparkling wine with a compelling flurescent tangerine colored tint) and the signature mimosas (fruit juice and Prosecco) in blood orange, passion fruit, mango and kiwi. For $25/person, guests can enjoy mimosas throughout brunch.

Dopo East is also now open for lunch. Guests can select from with the new price-fixed menu (choice of soup or salad, choice of main course, and a glass of house wine) for just $24.50, or order from the regular menu.

Through a partnership with gallery Artioli Findlay (www.artiolifindlay.com/events), the walls of the soothing, Venetian-sconce lit dining room are adorned with paintings and lithographs from the gallery. There is also live piano music Friday and Saturday evenings. The space is available for private parties and business meetings and is equipped with video screen and audio capabilities.

Dopo East is located at 345 East 62nd Street, New York, NY. For more information, visit their web site at www.dopoeast.com or call them at (646) 484-6548. They are open for dinner Tues-Thurs from 5-10pm, Fri-Sat from 5-11pm, Sun from 5-10pm, and for lunch from Tues-Sun, noon-4:00pm, and for brunch Sat-Sun from noon-4pm. Closed on Monday. Reservations are suggested.



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From This Author Marina Kennedy

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