Volume 80, Number 9 | July 29 - August 4, 2010
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Photo by Cynthia Romero

Stephane Courseau, left, and Maxime Paul in their Villa Pacri restaurant.

New multilevel Italian brings ‘a bit of St. Barts’ to Market

By Cynthia Romero

Villa Pacri, a new three-floor Italian eatery in the Meatpacking District that opened July 4th weekend, is setting out to delight the palates of New Yorkers with a wide selection of wines, meats, pastas and specially created dishes. Co-owner Stephane Courseau wants diners to feel like they are taking a bite out of St. Barts, literally.

“I want for people to get a different experience from each of our three floors,” Courseau said. “I want this to be a place people come to have lunch, dinner or really just come for a morning espresso.”

The entire cafe has a rustic Italian feel. A wine-glass chandelier in the main dining area is just one of the details that lets diners know they aren’t in for a run-of-the-mill dining experience.

“When my partners and I looked at the space, we fell in love with it,” Courseau said. “We saw one problem, which was that there were different levels. But it came out to our advantage.”

The three-floor establishment will be transformed into a five-floor dining, wining and lounging experience in the next few weeks

“We decided each floor would become a different entity,” he said.

The first floor, La Gazzetta, is referred to as the kitchen. On the corner, behind the bar is a bottega where visitors can buy olive oil, vinegar or a simple espresso.

The attitude here is definitely “anything goes” as customers can have breakfast until 11:30 a.m. and have an arrangement of pastas, antipasti, salads, chicken and fish dishes and desserts anytime after.

The second floor is the more upscale restaurant, Villa Pacri. It’s meant to reflect PaCri Italian restaurant on the Caribbean island of St. Barts where everything is made fresh daily, with up to 25 daily specials.

The belowground level will be a lounge with a fireplace and live DJ’s where one can relax and enjoy a cognac or a bottle of wine.

“Here, no matter how good and elegant our décor looks, ultimately, it’s all about our product and how we deliver it,” Courseau said. “Our villa is our house and it’s really open to anyone who wants to come in.”

The restaurant’s hours, 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. all week, are meant to accommodate morning stops, quick lunches and evenings of unwinding.

Villa Pacri is located at 55 Gansevoort St. For more information, call 212-924-5559.

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