From former Del Posto executive chef Mark Ladner’s Pasta Flyer to By Chloe co-founder Samantha Wasser’s The Sosta to Eataly Downtown’s I Ravioli counter, New York has seen a large crop of fast-casual pasta spots pop up over the last year, serving fresh plates of spaghetti and more at affordable prices and faster-than-fine-dining speeds.
Now Sola Pasta Bar in SoHo is taking that trend to the next level: the open-kitchen restaurant launched what it’s calling the city’s first pasta food cart in midtown east Wednesday.
The cart at 53rd Street and Park Avenue — which will be manned for the first few days by Sola chefs Alex Campedelli and Luigi Speranza — debuted with five pastas on the menu, all priced at either $8.50 or $9.50. A pasta and drink combo is $10.50, and a cannolo at $2 extra rounds out your meal.
Sola Pasta Bar is preparing sauces and house-made pasta on the premises at its SoHo location, a spokesman said, but cart employees will boil the pasta and finish it off in a pan after each order is placed. It’s served in a cardboard receptacle with a plastic lid that resembles a takeout ramen container.
The restaurant will ultimately deploy a fleet of three carts to reach a larger cross section of the office lunch crowd, parking at spots near 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue and Zuccotti Park in the Financial District.
Sola Pasta Bar, the brainchild of Michelin-starred Italian chef Massimo Sola and two partners, opened its doors at 330 W. Broadway in August.
The eatery’s carts may be the first mobile food vendors in New York to serve an exclusively pasta lunch, but the menu at the authentic Sicilian street food truck Picciotti NYC includes anelli al forno and penne, and the Italian food truck Ponti Rossi, which appears to have retired last fall, offered everything from lasagna Bolognese to orecchiette Pugliesi.
We’re ashamed that a foodie capital like NYC has been lagging behind Los Angeles on the mobile pasta front: the City of Angels has had its own pasta truck since 2016, and it’s owned by the only remaining heir to Italy’s throne.