Pasta proficianado Michael White announced earlier this week that he’s launching a new, delivery-only menu, and now more details are out about what it will actually look like. The restaurant, called Pasta On Demand, is an UberEats-exclusive project running out of the Ristorante Morini kitchen. It will be available in parts of Manhattan starting next Monday, with a small menu of six pastas, three salads, and two desserts.
Options like a gnocchetti with roasted butternut squash and kale pesto and a squid ink pasta with shrimp and calamari ragu are intended to reflect White and the Altamarea Group’s pasta empire overall, and for the chef, it’s a way to keep up business as restaurant costs go up. "Everybody talks about QSR [quick-service restaurants] anyway," he says. "This is having the best of fine dining brought to your doorstep." Like other acclaimed chefs jumping into the delivery-only market, White’s team did a lot of testing for the best options. He found that spaghetti dishes don’t travel well, and eventually, they may add delivery hacks like vented packaging, too. "This is just the beginning," he says.
It’s a relatively low-risk new restaurant for the Altamarea Group. The upfront costs to getting started are minimal, since the Ristorante Morini’s prep kitchen has a separate entrance that can be used just for Pasta On Demand’s delivery orders. UberEats takes care of insurance for the delivery people. And expenses like washing dishes and tablecloths are minimized. "Tablecloths cost $4 to wash," White says. "It’s real money."
All the menu items at Pasta On Demand cost less than $20, with salads at $8 and the most expensive pasta at $18. The prices do not include the UberEats flat delivery fee of $2.99. People have already been ordering delivery from Ristorante Morini’s menu, which is pricier than Pasta On Demand’s, and though White’s not yet sure if Altamarea will open another delivery-only menu soon, more fine dining delivery from the group isn’t out of the question. "I don’t think I’m the first one to do this," White says. "But I think this is going to be a facet that’s going to grow exponentially."
Pasta On Demand is available Sunday through Friday from 12 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. starting Monday, Oct. 17. It can be delivered from 26th Street to 135th Street. Check out the full menu below.