Mel’s would be a noteworthy opening in any case: An approachable but still ambitious spot for pizza and the like, from the chef who ran the kitchen at Del Posto — New York’s temple to Italian fine dining — for a decade. But that restaurant is right next door to the old Del Posto space. And the chef, Melissa Rodriguez, will be running not only Mel’s but Al Coro, which aims to bring the same refinement to Italian food as Del Posto but with a more casual feel; as well as Discolo, an attached bar.
Add to that her partners: Jeff Katz (who also helped to run Del Posto) and chef James Kent, who are coming to this trio of new restaurants from their hits Crown Shy and Saga.
“Jeff and I always talk about where we want to eat on our days off—and where we don’t want to eat on our days off,” Rodriguez says. “We always thought it would be fun to have a restaurant that would be more accessible than what is offered next door.
“And,” she adds, “we both love pizza.”
Behind the Scenes at Mel’s, the New Pizza Spot From the Crown Shy Team