If Noel Cruz looks familiar, it's probably because you've seen him before: at Craftbar, where he waited tables, at Dani, which he opened with Don Pintabona, or at Elettaria, where he partnered with chef Akhtar Nawab. Early next month, he'll reemerge at Carmine Club Caf, which will occupy the ground floor and basement of a former South Village office, newly equipped with a bar, a wine-cellar-like dining room, and an open kitchen. That's the province of chef Joe Vigorito, who arrives via Lupa and dell'anima, and intersperses his Mediterranean menu with global accents. Charred octopus comes with quinoa, romesco, and sorrel; lovage and bitter chocolate season the oxtail orecchiette; and the pork burger is garnished with bresaola "bacon" and served on a coriander bun. The wine list is international, too, with seasonally rotating New York selections on tap.
Carmine Club Cafe, 41-43 Carmine St., nr. Bedford St.; 212-933-0527