Italian comfort food gets a simple and stylish twist at the newly opened Impero Caffè in New York City’s INNSIDE New York NoMad Hotel. The bistro-style eatery is the latest from celebrity chef Scott Conant. Known for his Italian soul food dishes, the menu at Impero Caffè features housemade pastas, seafood and sandwiches and an extensive cocktail menu. I spoke with Conant about the food, the space and the drinks.
Long Island Pulse: Who would want to stop by and for what type of meal?
Scott Conant: We have two separate areas; the upstairs bar/lounge with a great cocktail program that has a relaxed, cool vibe for drinks and a bite. Then there’s the main dining room with a similar ambiance, where guests can enjoy a proper lunch or dinner.
Pulse: What, in your opinion, is the best dish on the menu right now?
Conant: I’ve been making variations of the Pasta al Pomodoro for 24 years or even longer, and it’s still the number one selling dish and makes everyone happy.
Pulse: How often will the menu change?
Conant: Seasonally and maybe more.
Pulse: Tells us about the cocktails and the inspiration behind them.
Conant: Get the San Remo! It’s refreshing, easy to drink and captures the spirit of the place.
Pulse: How do you describe the atmosphere of Impero Caffè?
Conant: One of the things I love about the design is that the space is airy with high ceilings, which is not always the case in the city. Our mantra is the idea of ‘sprezzatura’, which means the art of making the elegant look simple, so the atmosphere is sophisticated and comfortable with no pretense.