Stylish New Upper East Side Italian Restaurant Opening This Week

UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — Why open a coastal Italian restaurant on the Upper East Side? Well, the neighborhood has its own coast, according to Mark Barak.

“We’re not too far from the river,” joked Barak, founder and CEO of La Pecora Bianca – a group of elegant The Italian restaurants are opening their first location on the Upper East Side on Thursday.

The highly anticipated restaurant will occupy the ground floor of Beckford House, a new luxury condominium building at the corner of East 81st Street and 2nd Avenue. Over a year in the making, this is La Pecora Bianca’s seventh location, following other recent openings on the Upper West Side and Midtown.

Rather than a cookie-cutter approach, La Pecora Bianca tailors each new restaurant to its neighborhood and the storefront it will occupy. Here, inspired by the richness of Upper East Side Italian restaurants and the restaurant’s spacious space, Barak chose to lean “in a very coastal Italian direction,” he told Patch.

La Pecora Bianca’s new storefront on Second Avenue and East 81st Street, pictured last year. (Google Maps)

“The design is meant to evoke the seaside in Italy, and in particular some of the mid-century architecture on the Amalfi Coast,” he said. “And the menu reflects that.”

Unique dishes at the new location will include lobster spaghetti, squid ink linguine with puttanesca sauce, tuna crudo, fritto misto and other seafood dishes, Barak said.

And the entire menu will reflect La Pecora Bianca’s emphasis on fresh pasta, with all pasta dishes being homemade.

The new spot also represents something of a homecoming for Barak, who grew up just two blocks from the Second Avenue storefront.

This week’s opening will begin with dinner service only, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., with La Pecora Bianca – Italian for “the white sheep” – which is expected to expand with brunch and lunch in the coming weeks.

A sample of food at La Pecora Bianca. (Courtesy of La Pecora Bianca)

Along with the tables inside, the sidewalk in front of the restaurant will accommodate plenty of outdoor seating – with “really powerful heaters” that will keep diners warm during the winter, Barak said.

Describing the restaurant to Community Board 8 last year, Barak said La Pecora Bianca had big ambitions: “to rethink what a neighborhood restaurant can be.”

“Our vibe is to serve our community and be kind of third space for everyone,” he said.

La Pecora Bianca opens Thursday at 1562 Second Ave. Find out more on his site.

Do you have a current Upper East Side tip? Contact reporter Nick Garber at [email protected]

Comments are closed.