By Peizhao Sun
The idea of food product brands opening flagship restaurant isn’t new; however, when Italian pasta giant Giovanni Rana opened its first restaurant in the bustling Chelsea Market amid the delightful chaos that is lower Manhattan, something was noticeably different. Maybe it’s the quaint interior design, maybe it’s the glass-encased open kitchen; but it’s definitely the delectable pasta, along with the other alluring dishes, that sets Rana apart. The restaurant not only brings Italy to New York with its authentic taste, but also with the many Italian artifacts that add to the charming atmosphere as well. Producing hearty yet elegant, handmade pasta, as well as providing welcoming and dedicated service, Rana by Giovanni Rana is a spot worthy of a visit.
The family owned and operated restaurant finds its beginning all the way back in the year 1962, when Giovanni Rana first set out to make fresh, handmade pasta in his kitchen. The pastas Giovanni created were so unique and delicious, local residents recognized his brand and Giovanni himself became well known. Now, the brand has brought its authentic Italian menu and incredible pasta to Rana in New York City with Chef Giancarlo Perbellini and Chef Francesco Berardinelli, both of whom keep the Rana family tradition alive by creating handmade, fresh pasta daily.
The carefully crafted menu includes a variety of appetizers, pasta and antipasti. Though Rana specializes in filled pastas that highlight the extra thin and gossamer wrapper, the restaurant offers about 30 different pastas, which aren’t all, filled. As Rana takes pride in its variety, there is never a dull tasting meal with the menu that includes exciting dishes like the asparagus and ricotta ravioli to the lobster mezzaluna; while dishes like the tagliatelle limone and the cappelleti al prosciutto showcases true Italian authenticity, all are guaranteed to please. To create this incredible taste, Rana makes some of its pasta with doughs flavored with interesting ingredients such as chiles, curry and cuttle fish ink, or even using lentil flour.
Upon arrival, guests are greeted with the simple yet traditional interior decor. While the 140-seat restaurant is mostly occupied by wooden chairs and table heights, details within the restaurant still manage to tell the story of the Rana, as graters hang above the bar and vintage cooking tools arranged all around the restaurant. It even includes the pasta-making machine and Mr. Rana’s red motorbike, on which he first delivered his handmade pastas.
With the combination of unique and traditional pastas, and a focus on continuing the hand making pasta tradition, Rana in Chelsea Market is the spot that won’t disappoint true Italian cosine enthusiasts.
75 9th Avenue
NY, NY 10011