Michael White Ramping Up 'Morini' Brand

With a new expansion in New York City's Upper East Side, White is bringing his homey Italian cooking everywhere

Chef Michael White won't be stopping anytime soon. Sure, he just opened up his "Wiscopolitan" (as New York Magazine calls it) pizzeria in New York City, but The New York Times reports that his Alta Marea group just snatched up a space on the Upper East Side.

The latest restaurant to join the empire? Ristorante Morini, in a two-story space at Madison and 85th Street. Eater and Grub Street have dubbed this the pricier sister to Osteria Morini (like J. Crew to Madewell).

And while Osteria Morini stayed within the homey Emilia-Romagna region, of Italy, White promises a more diverse selection of Italian dishes.

"It will allow me to untie my hands and not pinpoint a specific region," White said. "It will be fun for me. It’s a little early to discuss the menu, but I can imagine doing a dish like gnocchi alla Sorrentina. It’s also the kind of place that could go into a hotel or another big city."

White already has four New York City restaurants, one in New Jersey, and another in Hong Kong. If this means he'll be expanding west (perhaps the Midwest, since he is a Wisconsin boy), here's to hoping for a Chicago outpost soon.