Caput Mundi, a Latin phrase meaning “head or capital of the world,” was used in ancient times as a reference to Rome. The phrase has been revived as the name of a newly opened Roman restaurant in Soho.
Roman cuisine never established the same toehold in New York as the foods of other regions of Italy, which means that some of the dishes may be unfamiliar. Among these is pasta alla griccia, a dish oversimplified by some sources as carbonara without the egg and/or amatriciana without the tomatoes. (If you want to conduct a taste test by ordering all three, carbonara and amatriciana, both done with guanciale, are also on Caput Mundi’s menu.)
An unorthodox version of saltimbocca alla Romana features prosciutto chips and baked potatoes.
Caput Mundi, 59 Grand Street, 347-594-4801.
Here a Chick, There a Chick
The Chick Inn, a popular Harlem restaurant that serves chicken in its many guises, has opened an outpost in Kip’s Bay on the site of what was formerly the Italian restaurant Bistango.
The menu leaves no stone unturned when it comes to chicken. You can have the bird as an ingredient in a BLT, in chicken and waffles, fried on a sandwich, and neat as a whole, half, or quarter rotisserie chicken.
There are non-poultry items on the menu, including a lobster roll, fried shrimp, and mac and cheese, as well as vegan chicken, though why anyone would want to come to a place that specializes in chicken and order ersatz chicken beats me.
The Chick Inn, 415 Third Avenue (at 29th St.), 347-332-6866.