Entrez, an Italian-French Spot Born of Market Research, Opens Tomorrow

Joann Pan

“I believe our food is the best in this neighborhood because I know that quality best,” said Aidin Zekirovski of the Italian-French dishes he’ll serve at Entrez Bar & Grill when it opens in the former Pomodoro Pizzeria space tomorrow.

It’s a bold claim, but the restaurateur – who recently moved here from Copenhagen, Denmark, where he owns an Italian restaurant, Sdessanos – said he and his business partners conducted three months of market research before deciding to settle in the East Village.

Mr. Zekirovski’s online questionnaires and on-the-street interviews with neighborhood residents revealed that East Villagers were looking for “healthy and affordable” dishes in a casual setting. “We found out people who live in the neighborhood, most of which are students, they require and want something like this,” he said. “Somewhere they can hang out and socialize.”

To that end, workers have outfitted the former pizzeria with a dramatically underlit bar and an opulent chandelier. Executive chef Jay Ridonic, a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu International, said the menu would feature Italian dishes such as capellini fruit de mer (angel-hair pasta topped with a mixture of lobster, clams, mussels, calamari, shrimp, and a light red sauce) as well as a veal chop milanese topped with baby arugula, peppers and citrus vinaigrette. Wine, liquor, bacon and cheese will be imported from Italy and France.

French-inspired dishes include escargot, chicken liver pâté and rotisserie duck, with prices in the “low teens and mid teens.” Once the beer-and-wine license arrives (“any day now,” said the owner), there will be Oktoberfest specials in addition to espresso drinks.

Entrez will be open from 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Wednesday, and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday to Saturday. We’ll add the menu here when it becomes available.

Entrez Bar & Grill, 166 Second Avenue (between 10th and 11th Streets)