What are the chances that two places I had dinner the same night (yes, two dinners) both have a historical connection to Chicago?
The owners of Virginia’s met when they used to both work at Charlie Trotter’s. (One of them later worked at Per Se). A former Alinea beverage director put together their beverage program and I believe two chefs working there, also used to work in Chicago. The employee I chatted with at dinner happened to be one of the owners, Reed Adelson. Stop in and give them a visit! The risotto is quite possibly the best I have ever had and the toast appetizer with Dorset cheese and apple was incredible.
Another Chicago story. A friend had recommended Bruno. “They mill their own flour, have interesting combinations and it doesn’t taste like the other pizzas.”
That was enough to entice me so Bruno was our late-night snack spot. On the way out, I told a random person I’m glad my friend told me to try Bruno. He proceeded to tell us how we missed the news station being in earlier that day and were featured for their no-tipping policy.
The random person happened to be partner of Bruno Pizza, Demian Repucci. So what is the Chicago connection? Not only did Damian design the Bruno space down to the plates and chairs, but also restaurant Blackbird in Chicago. He wrote the business plan for avec before he moved to New York as well.
This is not your typical pizza joint. The menu is concise, consisting of creative dishes made with high-quality ingredients. The pizza has a flavorful crust that is on the softer, pillowy side. It’s just firm enough to hold the toppings which is great if you’re like me and don’t like to cut your pizza with a knife and fork.
Virginia’s | 647 E 11th St, New York NY | 212 658 0182
Bruno Pizza | 204 E 13th St New York, NY | 212 598 3080