Indoor dining is still verboten in the city, but Michele and Anisa Iuliano figured out a workaround above their restaurant Gnoccheria. This week, the couple opened Ampia Restaurant & Rooftop (100 Broad Street) directly upstairs from their inventive gnocchi operation. Ampia serves light, rustic Italian fare with plenty of seafood, in addition to pizza and pasta, for lunch and dinner.
Michele and Anisa had thought of the 4,500-square-foot rooftop concept prior to COVID-19, but shelter-in-place orders threw a wrench in their plans. They had prepared the greenhouse space for socially-distanced outdoor dining after Anisa saw an online ad for plastic greenhouses. That’s when inspiration struck: Why not give their diners a custom indoor dining experience on the roof? Each of the five greenhouses seats two diners, replete with a lush array of plants and flowers. (Per social-distancing guidelines, it is preferred that the dining pairs live together.)
Of course, anyone who isn’t lucky enough to snag a greenhouse can sit at one of the outdoor tables. The space is designed to accommodate 250 guests, but Ampia will be operating at 25% capacity to abide social-distancing measures.
“I want people to come on this beautiful roof and feel safe and like they’re in their own little world so they can enjoy themselves,” Anisa told Time Out New York.
To mitigate the risk of infection, tables are placed at least six feet apart ,surfaces are thoroughly and frequently sanitized and ordering is contactless. Diners are required to wear masks unless they’re sitting at their tables.