New York City is having an Italian moment — and it’s not of the red-sauce variety.
Trendy new pasta concepts have been popping up in recent months, bringing affordable, fresh fare to NYC diners looking for their fettuccine fix.
“I think it’s great all these places are opening,” said chef Ali LaRaia, co-founder of the fast-casual Italian spot The Sosta. “It shows people want pasta.”
With The Sosta, LaRaia wanted to introduce pastas, like the pumpkin-shaped zucca and rigatoni-esque paccheri, to a new audience, at prices that can keep people coming back multiple times a week.
The chef is in good company. Here’s a look at the city's new crop of casual pasta places:
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This two-month-old Italian spot from LaRaia and By Chloe co-founder Samantha Wasser checks off all the Instagram-age boxes, from the millennial-pink trays to the neon sign behind the counter. But the main draw is the food. Inspired by Italy’s autogrills — gas stations where travelers can find fresh meals — and LaRaia’s New Jersey upbringing, the NoLIta corner spot has five pasta-and-sauce pairings ($10-$13) which use house-made ingredients, from pasta to cheese. For dessert, there’s Fresco Gelateria gelato and cookies. 186 Mott St., thesosta.com
Just like its more upscale sister spot Allora, Elio’s will offer a 30-foot-long single strand spaghetto. The new concept, slated to open Sept. 20, will be more casual, with prices ranging from $9-$16 and meals served fast for the downtown work crowd. Pasta dishes will include lobster and cheese conchiglie and, of course, that monster spaghetto, here served in a light vodka sauce instead of a ragu like at Allora. 20 Maiden Lane, eliosnyc.com
Former Del Posto executive chef Mark Ladner branches out into the fast-casual scene with this grab-and-go concept. Dishes will range from $6 to $8 at the eatery, which is slated to open in Greenwich Village in October. A highlight will surely include the breaded, deep-fried “lasagna bar.” 510 Sixth Ave., pastaflyer.com
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Mulino a Vino’s owner is behind this new West Village restaurant, which officially opens Wednesday. The menu is dim sum-inspired; Italian dishes such as lasagna and eggplant parmigiana get the dumpling treatment, with most plates $8 for four pieces. To drink, there’s a focus on sparkling wine and gin and tonics. 57 Seventh Ave. S., 917-675-6319, raviolonyc.com
Get ravioli fast at this take-away counter, which debuted in June at the downtown Eataly. The menu is three items long ($11.80-$13.80): ricotta-spinach ravioli with a cherry tomato-basil sauce; pea, mint and pecorino ravioli with an asparagus and Parmigiano-Reggiano sauce; and prosciutto with the sauce of the day. 101 Liberty St., 3rd fl., 212-897-2895, eataly.com
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Sola Pasta Bar
At this month-old pasta bar in SoHo, get a seat at the kitchen counter and you might see Michelin-starred Italian chef Massimo Sola cook right in front of you. The focus is on affordability, with most pastas under $20, and there are already plans to expand in Manhattan. 330 W. Broadway, 646-692-4131, chefsola.com
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“Top Chef” winner Harold Dieterle is behind this counter-service Italian restaurant, where the menu will be entirely gluten free. A connected sweet shop, Tali Dolce, will sell gluten-free treats, too. The Murray Hill spot is slated to open mid-September. 77 Lexington Ave., 212-453-5813, talirestaurant.com