Word is in that Chef Shea Gallante’s Italian restaurant Ciano (45 East 22nd Street between Broadway and Park Avenue South) has closed down in the Flatiron, and may move to the Upper East Side in July. The announcement came suddenly yesterday. From what we have seen, a lot of these sudden closures don’t actually turn into a re-opening with the same chef and ownership team, but we shall see. The well-respected spot opened in 2010 with a seasonal Italian menu, and was quickly named one of the Best New Restaurants of the year by the New York Times.
It’s a tough neighborhood for Italian spots, with tons of competition from heavy hitters like A Voce, Maialano, Manzo, Birierra, the rest of Eataly, plus Zio, Lulu & Me, SD26, Granduca di Sicillia trattoria, Aselina, Basta Pasta, Brio Downtown, i Trulli, Magia Osteria Italiana, and pizza spots Forcella, Waldy’s, La Pizza Fresca, Grimaldis, Zero Otto Nove, Tappo, and Eataly le Pizze.
You can see the competition from the recent voting for Best Italian restaurant in the Flatiron and Best Pizza in the Flatiron. It takes a lot of culinary and financial guts to try to open another Italian spot in the neighborhood.