Then-New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni was more than a little disappointed when chef Andrew Carmellini skipped out on fine dining in 2009 to open a place that served simple food in a casual setting. “Locanda Verde doesn’t amount to the exactly right situation or perfect fit for him” Bruni wrote. “It’s not the Carmellini restaurant that many of us have been waiting for.” Bruni was sending a message that he expected Carmellini, a two-time ...

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