On Halloween, Destruction at L’asso’s Construction Site

sinkDaniel Maurer

Having finally recovered from our hangover, we can now report that on Monday night, L’asso opened the doors of its construction site for a Halloween party that ended in a cracked bathroom sink and a kicked-in front door. In a corner of the unfinished back dining room, co-owner Greg Barris, dressed as the Alchemist from Alejandro Jodorowsky’s film “The Holy Mountain,” was seen chatting with fellow comedian Reggie Watts, who had earlier made an appearance on the “Conan” show. Yesterday, Mr. Barris said that the Nolita pizzeria’s East Village outpost, at 107 First Avenue near East Sixth Street, will open within three weeks, bringing with it an assortment of new entrees and a focus on healthy cuisine.

Mr. Barris said that he began concentrating on healthfulness when, in planning a California outpost of L’asso, he discovered that potassium bromate, an ingredient in the flour he had been using for the restaurant’s pies, was considered to be a carcinogen by the state. At the new location, he’ll be using organic dough, organic tomato sauce, and will also serve house-made hemp pasta as well as a hemp pizza that’s currently available at the Nolita location during lunch.

OVENDaniel Maurer One of two wood-fired ovens.

“I’ve personally been trying to be very healthy and trying to take the restaurant in that direction,” said Mr. Barris. To help in the deployment of ingredients like avocado and walnut oils, he hired Claudio Cristofoli, a Cipriani alum who was also chef at the West Village pizzeria, Scuderia. Mr. Cristofoli’s menu will move away from the Nolita location’s focus on pizza (downgrading from 27 pies to about 15) in favor of wood-fired entrees such as quail, sturgeon, and cod croquettes, along with some vegan dishes that will make use of ingredients like quinoa and yucca. For the unrepentant meat-eater, a cheeseburger will incorporate buffalo meat, buffalo mozzarella, and buffalo bacon. Additional ingredients such as eggplant, zucchini, and basil will come from the restaurant’s 1.5-acre garden in New Jersey.

On Monday night, the 90-seat space’s interior details had not yet been finished, but in a back room that will eventually host performances and movie screenings, revelers including Demitri Drjuchin, an artist who dressed as the butterfly from the television show “The Venture Brothers,” danced to the tunes of D.J. M.S.B. As for the broken sink, Mr. Barris said, “I think someone tried to prop someone up on it.” (He has his theories as to why.) It wasn’t the night’s only incident: Around 3 a.m., he said, a passerby began kicking on the door of the plywood construction shed, eventually breaking it in half. “They took off running down the street and then the cops came,” said Mr. Barris.

So, not a bad Halloween.