An ambitious new project is going to have a go at the former Mambu/Rosebud's/Magnolia South space in Midtown, as Tartufo, an Italian restaurant that plans to eschew menus in favor of a tasting format, is taking over the Hayes Street property.
Beverage director Derek Williams tells Eater that construction is currently under way and that an opening is tentatively scheduled for January. Magnolia South was the building's last tenant, having closed their doors back in August after just nine months in business.
Brittany Dugger, who recently made local news for confronting an alleged purse thief outside the restaurant, will serve as executive chef, having previously worked in the same position for six months at the shuttered Magnolia South. Describing the restaurant as offering "refined, contemporary Italian cuisine" with a major emphasis on service, Dugger tells Eater that Tartufo (named after an Italian ice cream dessert) will have no menu, but instead will serve a constantly changing 5 to 7 course tasting each night for $75 per person. The restaurant will be reservation only, with seating for up to 60 guests.
She also says that they are currently working out the details for 'Backstage at Tartufo,' an in-kitchen table for two that will be priced between $200 and $225, automatically making it one of the most expensive meals in town.
A bar and lounge area is planned for walk-ins, which Dugger says will feature a baby grand piano and a rotating cast of local and international musicians.
Derek Williams, who previously ran the front of house and bar programs at A Tavola Trattoria and the now closed Huguenot Restaurant in New York's Hudson Valley, tells Eater that the beverage program "will consist of 14-16 house seasonal cocktails, [a] small beer program with some fun Italian craft beers and a substantial wine program predominately leaning Italian with a strong showing of French and some wines from other parts of the world."
Tartufo's owner is chef Marco Rossi, who most recently was the managing director and executive chef at The Blind Horse Restaurant and Winery in Kohler, Wis. Prior to that he was the manager at Andrea Restaurant at The Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach, Ca.