Located in New York’s Greenwich Village, the One Fifth Avenue skyscraper has been home to several memorable Manhattan restaurants, starting with the original One Fifth, a destination for both the building’s co-op residents and local and visiting celebrities. (Keith and Brian McNally worked there before becoming famous restaurateurs in their own right.) Later, there was a 1990s seafood reincarnation from the team behind Gotham Bar & Grill, followed by the Batali & Bastianach–owned Otto Enoteca e Pizzeria, which closed in 2020.
On Aug. 9, chef-restaurateur Marc Forgione revived the One Fifth Avenue restaurant space as One Fifth, a collaboration between Forgione and Apres Cru Hospitality (co-founded by Master Sommeliers Dustin Wilson and Sabato Sagaria with Eric Engler). Forgione already runs Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence winner Restaurant Marc Forgione, Award of Excellence winner Peasant and its adjoining wine bar, but One Fifth is the first opening under Forgione’s new Respect Hospitality group.
“It's been a dream of my family to open up a restaurant that can showcase the way the Forgiones eat when we all get together,” Forgione told Wine Spectator via email. “Huge antipasti platters being shared, conversations around a big table, lots of wine.”
Using ingredients from the nearby Union Square Greenmarket, Forgione and executive chef Robert Zwirz offer a different take on Italian cuisine from Peasant’s focus on a wood-fired grill, with dishes like smashed burrata with peach, Hamachi crudo, Snowdance Farm chicken piccata, prime hanger steak with green tomatoes and house-made pastas, which join desserts from chef Jami Callao. The menu features a section devoted to pinsa (an oval style of pizza developed in Rome), which Forgione’s father, chef Larry Forgione, helped put together.
Wilson and Sagaria oversee One Fifth's wine program. The list—interspersed with helpful information on wineries, regions and varieties—features about 350 labels and is focused on Italy, offering everything from Barolos to Amarones to Chiantis to Sicilian reds. California also plays a key role here, with picks like Sonoma Chardonnay, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and Santa Ynez Syrah, and there is a lengthy selection of Champagne and other sparkling wines. Across the list are noteworthy verticals from leading wineries like Biondi-Santi, Heitz and Silver Oak, to name just a few.
While the program spotlights leading wineries with older vintages, there are also many bottles priced less than $100, helping create a more approachable and lively experience for guests. There are plans to grow the list over time, with continued focus on well-known producers, as well as newer names in Italy and California. One Fifth also offers an extensive by-the-glass list with its own reserve wine section, along with special, rarer bottles poured at the bar. The restaurant will host wine and amaro tastings and wine dinners in the future.
Alongside One Fifth’s wines, Jeff Bell, owner of East Village cocktail bar Please Don’t Tell (the speakeasy-style bar famously located behind the phone booth in Crif Dogs, and another Apres Cru partner), has created a variety of Italian-influenced drinks, including the Gran Torino, a mixture of Sazerac rye, Barolo Chinato and Ratafia di Andorno cherry liqueur.
The team at Brooklyn-based 71 Collective kept history in mind when designing One Fifth, restoring the space’s 1970s terrazzo floors and its revolving door, while mixing traditional Italian elements with Art Deco features. The restaurant’s host stand was built from a 200-year-old butcher’s block, and 19th-century chandeliers light the 145-seat dining room. Guests can also sit at the 50-seat bar.
“As a born and raised New Yorker, raised in the restaurant industry, I have so much respect for storied spaces,” said Forgione. “The One Fifth bar, in particular, has always been such a communal place for the neighborhood, and I can’t wait to give that back.”
With 18 Best of Award of Excellence–winning locations, Barcelona Wine Bar has helped popularize Spanish cuisine and wines throughout the United States. On Aug. 15, a 19th location premiered in historic university town Cambridge, Mass., not far from Cambridge Common and the Harvard University Museum of Natural History, making it the third Barcelona Wine Bar in Greater Boston.
Like its sibling locations, the Cambridge restaurant focuses on small plates, inspired by Spanish and Mediterranean cuisines. There is a sizeable selection of cheese and charcuterie, featuring jamón serrano, Sobrasada, aged Manchego and much more. These join the many seasonal tapas prepared by executive chef Jose Ochoa, who has been with the Barcelona Wine Bar group since 2016, including grilled octopus with salsa verde, tuna crudo with pickled shallots, fried okra, pork belly with piquillo puree and spiced beef empanadas. Larger dishes include roasted branzino, lamb fideos, chicken pimientos and several paellas, with several desserts available as well.
Alongside this menu is a 400-label wine list, overseen by Barcelona Wine Bar group beverage director Emily Nevin-Giannini, working with the group’s VP of creative, Gretchen Thomas. Spain forms the core of the program, which spotlights many of the country’s leading wineries: Rioja’s Marqués de Murrieta, R. López De Heredia and La Rioja Alta; Ribera del Duero’s Bodegas Emilio Moro, and Priorat’s Clos Mogador, to name a few. Guests can sample much of Spain’s bounty from the by-the-glass list of 50 wines, along with 3-ounce pours of Sherries in a range of styles and selected wine flights. There’s plenty beyond Spain on the bottle list—with wines from Argentina, California, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Uruguay—with a focus on smaller, family-owned wineries and an emphasis on value, with many selections under $50 a bottle.
“I am thrilled to have opened a restaurant in Cambridge,” Nevin-Giannini told Wine Spectator via email. “Boston is dear to my heart. I lived [there] for five years during the beginning of my sommelier career with Barcelona Wine Bar.”
The new Barcelona Wine Bar’s design takes inspiration from the Ramblas area of its namesake city, with visual references to Harvard University’s classrooms and to midcentury design, particularly the work of Danish furniture designer Poul Cadovius. The 117-seat dining room centers on a U-shaped bar, with art throughout; guests can also enjoy dinner outside on the streetside patio.
“Cambridge is a tight community,” said Barcelona Wine Bar culinary director Emilio Garcia. “I’m excited to see how we can grow here as one of the neighborhood staples. [It] feels great to be neighbors with some of my oldest chef friends in Cambridge.”