NYT: Saraghina’s Co-Owner Leaves to Focus on New Restaurant

Adam Kuban

From the NYT Diner’s Journal:

Massimiliano Nanni says he’s left Saraghina, the easygoing Italian restaurant he co-owned in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, to focus on the Mediterranean bistro, Celestino, that he expects to open down the street later this summer.

Mr. Nanni, who opened his first restaurant, Piadina, in the West Village in 1995, has lived in Bedford-Stuyvesant for four years.

“My neighborhood needs everything,” he explained in a phone interview, “but there’s not any place good for oyster or sea bass.”

At Saraghina, noted for its brick-oven pizza, his business partner and friend, Edoardo Mantelli, was the chef. At Celestino, Mr. Nanni will be in the kitchen. His wife, Paola Citterio, an artist, will handle the overall design of the new restaurant, as she did with Saraghina.

“When you come inside you feel like in a movie, like ‘Amélie’,” he said, referring to the highly stylized film by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. “You’re going to see all the metal around. Me and one other person behind a counter, where we’re going open the oysters – where you can see us.” Also planned for the décor: a deep-sea diver suit hanging to the wall and lobster trap cages.

“It will comfortable. It will be a place where you will stay for two hours, and you will leave with a full belly,” he said.

Celestino, 562 Halsey Street (Stuyvesant Avenue), Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. (Expected to open late August or early September.)

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