East Village loses a beloved Italian restaurant
Charming East Village Italian restaurant Via Della Pace was destroyed in a fire after nearly 20 years of business on Monday afternoon. The rustic Italian cafe — named for a two-block street in Rome’s historic central district — was known for its lasagna, sidewalk seating, and traditional Italian cuisine, which Eater critic Robert Sietsema found to be “quite good.” In an announcement over Instagram, the owners shared that the interior of the restaurant had been completely destroyed as a result of the fire and they were unsure whether they would be able to continue in the restaurant business. “We were unable to salvage our precious items,” they wrote, “but we are holding onto the good memories of serving our wonderful clients.”
Cafe Mocha, a busy neighborhood cafe and bistro which opened in 2008, was also closed due to damages from the fire. The restaurant, whose sidewalk cafe overflows with diners in warmer months, has yet to make an announcement about the closure on their website or social media accounts. The fire erupted around 3:15 p.m. at 48 E. 7th Street, near Second Avenue, according to the Patch, and took more than three hours and 100 firefighters to get under control. The FDNY reported that five firefighters had sustained non-life-threatening injuries while responding to the fire but none of the building’s residents were said to be injured. The cause of the fire is still being investigated by fire marshals at the scene. Eater has reached out to the FDNY and Via Della Pace for more details.
In other news:
— On February 22, Harlem restaurant Archer & Goat will host an earthquake relief fundraiser for the Puerto Rican town of Guanica. The $50 entrance fee includes a cocktail made with pitorro (a Puerto Rican spirit similar to rum); an entree and dessert; and performances by DJs. Seatings are available at 6 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 9 p.m., and 10:30 p.m.
— Cozy neighborhood Italian restaurant Porsena celebrates 10-years in the East Village this year. “There were many times I didn’t think we would make it, but here we are thriving,” says owner Sara Jenkins. To honor the occasion, Jenkins will be hosting a series of events throughout the year, starting with a limited-reservation dinner on February 26 that explores the cuisine of Italian Jews in collaboration with the Jewish Food Society.
— Cote steakhouse will serve Parasite’s iconic ram-don noodle dish in honor of the film garnering five Oscars over the weekend. The dish — which was developed for the movie and consists of instant ramen, udon, and steak — will join Cote’s late-night menu for $18 this Thursday to Saturday from 10 p.m. to close.
— Don Ceviche, maker of marinated fish in the Essex Market, will be relocating within the food hall and reopening under the name Mercado Lima. The new, larger restaurant will occupy the space formerly held by the now-shuttered Samesa and plans to serve an expanded menu of Peruvian rotisserie chicken. Don Ceviche’s current space will be occupied by a juice, smoothie, and salad vendor called Essex Squeeze.
— Pastry chef Ryan Butler, who co-founded Brooklyn’s popular Butler Bake Shop and Espresso Bar, will be parting ways with his namesake bakery-cafes. The chef now plans to pursue new concepts beyond pastry.
— A food hall planned for 205 Hudson Street, at Canal, appears to be on hold due to a series of lawsuits between the projects developers.
— Acclaimed Greenpoint pizzeria Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop appears to be adding a meatball hero to their menu in the near future, with sesame seed bread coming from Gran Daisy Bakery.
— After four decades of being a largely meat-only destination, Sarge’s Delicatessen & Diner in Murray Hill will now a serve Reuben sandwich with “meat” that is 100 percent plant based.
— Name a more iconic pair of words, we’ll wait: