Soho is still waiting on tenderhooks for Andrew Carmellinis the Dutch (it has a logo! Its hiring! and some of the construction plywood is off, as you can see above); meanwhile, a stones throw away, at 105 Thompson Street, a notable newcomer will open next week. Vai Spuntino Bar is an outpost of Vincent Chericos uptown spot Vai. The chef, Greg Torrech, was chef at 6th Street Kitchen before Andrew Kraft (who just opened Osteria Cotta), and worked with Kraft at Ryan Skeens kitchens at Allen & Delancey and Irving Mill. Here hell be doing what he describes as honest Mediterranean food.
Compared with Vai, the menu will consist of more elaborate, finer foods with more technique involved, says Torrech. Were going all out. Dishes like the tuna tartare and the himachi crudo will come downtown, but youll also be able to order a bacalao salad (confit salted cod, cauliflower and potato puree, and preserved lemon), an olive-poached halibut and guancile cannellini bean cassoulet, and roasted bone marrow with battuto vinaigrette. The kitchen will initially be open from 5 till 11 p.m. (with wine service continuing till 2 a.m.), but expect breakfast and lunch in the next few weeks.
Vai Spuntino Bar, 105 Thompson St., nr. Prince St.; 212-226-1146