If opening and maintaining one successful restaurant deserves applause, then opening 3 spots deserves nothing less than a standing O!
My standing O goes to Epicurean Management for what they have done in terms of italian restaurants in NYC.
A brief timeline... In October of 2007, they opened Dell'anima on 8th Ave. in the West Village. Cool spot, amazing italian food, fun atmosphere. In December 2008, they followed that up with another West Village restaurant on W. 10th St. called L'Artusi. Larger restaurant (yet still intimate), amazing food, cosy bar, stellar wine list beautifully broken out by region, and a gorgeous private dinner room (called the Wine Cellar). In the Fall of 2012, they extended their network outside of the West Village with a East Village spot called L'Apicio. Another cool, intimate spot, great bar, amazing food, fantastic brunch, causal and relaxing "living room" space which is great for pre-dinner drinks, and tasty cocktails.
When I lived in the West Village, L'Artusi was my go-to Italian restaurant. However, since moving to the East Village, L'Apicio now fills that role.
All three places fill up night after night even though they've been at it for years. There are similarities in the their food across the 3 restaurants, but also enough differences to make all three worthy of frequent visits.
The management company seems to know how to keep talent as I see the same faces in these places year after year. And they also know the importance of the customer as they clearly promote a friendly environment where people remember your name and your face.
I haven't tried brunch at L'Artusi, but I hear it is fantastic. They also opened a bar/lounge in May of 2010 called Anfora which is located 2 doors down from Dell'anima. Both are on my to-do list!