BUZZY DEBUTS: GRAPPINO, CHOPS AND THE ROOTS OF SOCIETY

With the opening of Grappino, a grappa-themed restaurant and bar (stocking more than 80 kinds of the Italian spirit), Fabrizio Aielli has officially created a formidable dining empire. For his fourth restaurant in Naples, he took over the lofty, light-filled former home of Timeless on U.S. 41, and added whimsy to the contemporary setting, with details like the Murano glass balloons strung on transparent fishing wire from the ceiling. The menu is built around two pillars: a top-of-the-line brick pizza oven that affords a thicker, pillowy dough (it almost has the consistency and presentation of focaccia) and an algebraic equation of possible pasta combinations. There are 13 types of noodles (nine of which are made in-house) and 13 sauce and topping permutations to choose from—you do the math.
Photo by Tina Sargeant