The team behind Edo Gastro Tapas & Wine plans to open a new restaurant, this time dabbling in a combination of Italian and Spanish progressive cuisines with touches of Asian ingredients. Where Edo features Spanish tapas and dishes, Anima, Spanish for soul, opening in December at the Gramercy, takes a different approach with a little more daring menu. Francesco di Caudo, the former executive chef at Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar, joins Edo’s executive chef Oscar Amador in the kitchen, with Roberto Liendo from Edo as manager and partner and Joseph Mikulich as sommelier and partner.
“It is an Italian chef and Spanish chef doing a frontierless, progressive-style restaurant, with no classical dishes,” Mikulich says. “They’re really just doing things that are very unique and teaching the Las Vegas Valley some new, exciting ways to eat cuisine.”
Liendo describes the cuisine as borne of the daring restaurants of Barcelona, where Amador once had four. “We didn’t want it to be something of a classic Spanish cuisine. We want it to be something more progressive, more exploring ingredients and techniques from other parts of the world,” Liendo says. “Anima has to be a continuation of Edo, plus all the talent that Francesco is going to bring in.”
Think risotto with Carabineros shrimp from Spain with yuzu. Bikini sandwiches, named for Bikini Concert Hall in Barcelona, where street vendors sell pressed ham and cheese sandwiches, make the trek from Edo. At Anima, they plan to use brioche pressed with sopressata and Mahón cheese, a cow’s milk cheese named after the port of Mahon on Spain’s Minorca island, for a reinvented take on the dish. A thinly sliced carpaccio comes with puri bread from India and payoyo cheese from Andalusia, topped with a black truffle vinaigrette. Pastas and some tapas make the menu, as well as large-format dishes, but Liendo says Anima will not be a tapas restaurant.
Dishes can be ordered a la carte or via a tasting menu. “We want to create an experience where everything is shareable,” Liendo says. “We like everything to be in the middle of the table and interactive for people to reach out and be able to share.”
Anima takes over the former Kitchen Table Squared space at the Gramercy, and the team plans to open up the kitchen so diners can see the chefs at work. The 90-seat dining room retains its industrial feel, but comes swaddled in burgundies, grays, and dark chocolates, with a “beautiful, but not intimidating” feel so locals can feel comfortable in casual attire. A seafood station and a charcuterie station will be up front and promises interactive opportunities for diners. A small chef’s table will put diners in the midst of the action, or customers can request the 10-seat secluded private dining room. Once open, the restaurant plans to serve lunch and dinner daily. “Obviously in the beginning, it is going to be a little bit of a process, and then we’re gonna expand our hours as we go. But it should happen pretty quickly for us to open everyday. That’s the idea,” Liendo says.
The bar plans to focus on gin and tonics, sherries, amari, and Negronis. Mikulich says a wine cellar will feature 150 labels focusing on Spanish and Italian wines, with about 30 percent from all over the world.
“People love tapas, but they want to feel like they went out and they had dinner,” Liendo says. “So at the end, they want to finish with something a little more larger format. We do have a lot of people from southwest that come to us already so by coming here, we just feel that being closer to the community here, it’s going to strengthen our relationship and it’s going to make a little easier so people don’t have to drive so far to come to us.”