Osteria Morini brings the soulful cuisine and convivial spirit of Emilia-Romagna in northern Italy to Manhattan’s vibrant SoHo neighborhood. Known as the Italian Breadbasket, this region is also the birthplace of some of the flavors and ingredients most commonly associated with Italian cuisine worldwide: prosciutto, mortadella, parmigiano, and balsamic vinegar.
In Italian, “osteria” means a place where the owner “hosts” guests. The 98-seat restaurant, located on Petrosino Square, offers lunch and dinner daily, and brunch Saturday and Sunday.
Chef White dismantled and shipped components from an Italian 1700s-era farmhouse to create the unique décor. The semi-open kitchen allows for guests to watch the action of their meal preparation unfold. Executive Chef Bill Dorrler oversees the kitchen operations at Osteria Morini, led daily by Chef di Cucina Cesar Guadarrama. Osteria Morini’s wine list was curated by AMG Beverage Director Hristo Zisovski to include wines native to this part of Italy.
Michael White’s soulful and flavorful interpretations of Italian cuisine will lead you to believe he was born and raised on Italian soil. Michael is in fact a Midwesterner who spent his childhood in Beloit, Wisconsin. By whim or intuition, White decided to enroll in Kendall Culinary Institute and then secured a position in Chicago’s Spiaggia. He studied for seven years at the acclaimed San Domenico in Imola before returning to the United States.
In 2007, White partnered with Ahmass Fakahany to open Due Terre and Due Mari in New Jersey. One year later, Fakahany and White officially formed the Altamarea Group to open Marea, which garnered three stars from The New York Times, and holds two Michelin stars. From Marea, Fakahany and White extended their culinary vision and opened Michelin-starred Ai Fiori; Osteria Morini restaurants in Soho, New York; Bernardsville, New Jersey; and Washington, D.C.; Vaucluse, their French brasserie on Park Avenue, New York; and Nicoletta Pizzerias. Outside the United States, Altamarea has properties in London, Istanbul, and Hong Kong.
Chef White has received the highest recognition in his career from Michelin, Relais & Chateaux, The New York Times, James Beard Foundation, Zagats and many other organizations. White was also named of of the “40 Most Influential New Yorkers under 40” by Crains, New York. He has also been requested to cook for several U.S. Presidents.
Bill Dorrler is an Executive Chef within the Altamarea Group, leading the kitchen organization at Osteria Morini (in SoHo, New Jersey and Washington, D.C.), Due Mari, and Nicoletta Pizzerias. As a young man, Bill spent his days working on a nearby farm, picking fresh produce and utilizing the season’s bounty to bring family and friends together. Bill graduated from Saint Joseph University in Philadelphia in 1994 with a degree in Accounting. But his passion for food persisted and after two years of working in an office, Bill walked into Café Cucina, in Bridgewater, NJ, and asked for a job. In less than a year, Bill assumed the role as the restaurant’s Sous Chef.
By 2004, Bill turned his attention to authentic Italian cuisine, and then moved on to become the Executive Chef at Harvest Restaurant Group’s Ciao, in Basking Ridge. In 2007, he was recruited by the Altamarea Group to lead their New Jersey Italian restaurants, working very closely with Chef Michael White. As Executive Chef, Bill helped open Due Terre in Bernardsville (now Osteria Morini NJ) and Due Mari in New Brunswick. Each restaurant was rated “Best New Restaurant in New Jersey” and received rave reviews from The New York Times, and top marks from The Star Ledger. From New Jersey, Bill was promoted to head the new and exciting kitchen of Osteria Morini in SoHo. His straight-from-the earth-cooking philosophy naturally compliments the approachable cuisines found at each restaurant he oversees, including Osteria Morini.
Growing up in an Italian household, family and food were always extremely important to Phillip. Elaborate Sunday dinners were always prepared by the talented cooks in his family, with pasta as part of the extensive menu. It is at home where Phillip first developed a passion for food and he began realizing that a career around food may be in his future.
When Phillip was 14 years old, his passion for food led him to work in his favorite local restaurant in his hometown of Huntington, Long Island. He started out carrying bus buckets and stocking glasses on weekends and after 7 years of working his way up, he became an assistant manager.
Phillip attended Johnson and Wales University in Providence Rhode Island, where he studied food service and restaurant management. After graduating Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s degree, Phillip was hired for a seasonal position as an assistant manager of the “Rink Bar” at Rockefeller Center, by Restaurant Associates, which later became the Patina Restaurant Group. He was then brought on as an assistant manager of the Rock Center Café and the Sea Grill, both Patina Group properties. Phillip spent just short of 7 years with Patina and in this time he became the Assistant Director of the Rock Center Café and the Director of the “Rink Bar.”
In January of 2012, Phillip joined the Altamarea Group as the Assistant General Manager of Osteria Morini Soho. He felt an immediate connection to the restaurant and was proud to call it home. In January of 2014, Phillip was promoted to General Manager of the restaurant and he is thrilled to now be leading the team at Osteria Morini Soho.
Cesar Guadarrama is the perfect example of how hard work and dedication pays off. Cesar spent years working in some of New York’s busiest kitchens learning to perfect his craft, under top chefs such as Michael Lomanaco and Bill Telepan. Now working alongside Chef Michael White as the Chef de Cuisine in Soho’s Osteria Morini, Cesar is seeing the fruits of his labor.
Cesar started climbing the ladder of his career at the Midtown hotspot, Judson Grill. From there he worked in restaurants such as Porter House and Convivio, which is where he met Michael White. Cesar continued to grow and foster his love for the food industry which eventually landed him the role as Sous Chef at Michael White’s Costata. Due to his passion, creativity and drive, Cesar now resides at Osteria Morini, serving up the soulful cuisine of Emilia-Romagna.
A native to the East Village, Allegra has been involved in the under/over-ground of Lower Manhattan’s bars, music venues, and food scene for over 20 years.
Growing up in New York City provided a wide variety of cultures and culinary flavors to her understanding of food and beverage and created a passion for the industry itself. Graduating from NYU with a BA in politics, she is dedicated to environments that foster socialization and positive connections. The experience of a great meal and flavorful beverages elevates and highlights the creativity of many individuals working together with the same goal of providing something bigger, more meaningful, and more memorable. Inspired by craft-driven, vegetal, herbaceous, and citrus forward cocktails, Allegra has found a home at Osteria Morini as an opening member since 2010 and as the Head Bartender since 2014.