Is pizza still pizza without red sauce and mozzarella? That's what former Daniel bread baker Mark Fiorentino thinks, and he's mostly sticking to that motif at Heartwood, a collaborative new Chelsea restaurant in the former Donatella space. Previous namesake restaurateur Donatella Arpaia still has a stake in the new venture, but it's helmed by Fiorentino, James Beard winner Bradford Thompson and restaurateur Nick Mautone, a vet of Gramercy Tavern. The Stefano Ferrara pizza oven has been given a new red tile cloak but the cheery space remains mostly unchanged since its Donatella days, with handsome exposed brick walls sunny yellow leather chairs and requisite reclaimed barn wood.

But back to those pizzas, in combinations like wild mushroom, sweet garlic, fontina cheese and tarragon (Wild & Sharp, $14); pulled rabbit, cloumage cheese, ramps and asparagus ("Spring Pizza," $18); and a heavy duty pie with braised short rib, creamed spinach and horseradish ("When Peter Luger Goes Out For Pizza," $18). In addition to the pies, Chef Thompson's doing a lineup of "chowdas," stews and chilies like Snap Pea & Leek Chowder ($10) with curried pearl onions and pea leaves, plus small plates like Skate Fingers ($10 with jalapeno tartar sauce and super cheesy Rice Fritters ($9).

For more filling dishes, look for "Proteins" including Mustard Crusted Rabbit Leg ($21) or Whole Roasted Black Bass ($23) with broccolini. Wines have a New York vineyard bent, tap beers are craft, of course, and speciality Bloody Marys will be part of the cocktail list.


184 Eighth Avenue between 19th and 20th Streets, (212) 493-5150;

Heartwood Menu