Chef Massimo Sola — who once earned a Michelin star for a restaurant in Italy — opened a casual pasta bar in Soho today, a type of restaurant that he wants to expand across Manhattan.
Sola Pasta Bar, located at 330 West Broadway near Grand Street, is right across the street from Mamo, the spin-off of a French Riveria celebrity hotspot that he helped open in 2015. The tight menu primarily features simple pastas, such as a spaghetti with tomato sauce and a fettuccini with a Bolognese sauce — part of the chef’s effort to make “high-quality cuisine that can benefit all,” according to at statement. Dishes range from $11 to $20, and all of the pastas can be made gluten-free.
Currently, only a limited menu is being offered, but in a couple weeks, a fuller one will debut. See it below.
The 42-seat restaurant has seats around a kitchen counter, or in the dining room at a communal table and banquette tables. Sola’s idea is for diners to watch the chefs cook, often with chefs finishing dishes at the table.
Sola previously was the head chef at Eataly Rome, and Italian restaurant I Quattro Mori earned a Michelin star while he was there. He was also the opening chef at Soho restaurant Mamo, though he’s since left. Early reviews found it “mediocre,” and it never quite picked up buzz in the food world.
Still, the chef is clearly banking on the pasta bar to be more of a widespread hit. He does not yet know how many more pasta bars he wants to open, but plans are already in the works to expand it.