By GEORGE WAYNE
It is not at all surprising that the jet-set fashion set has seemingly made Grand Street in Soho the go-to for that one-of-a-kind five-star pasta craving. Ryan Seacrest, Winnie Harlow (when in town) and uber-fashionista-PR-queen Kelly Cutrone know that when the dinner date requires the finest Italian. I won’t be at the over-rated Cipriani up the street or the underwhelming Il Mulino across the street.
It will be at the consciously chic and intimate Instagram ready setting of Sola. With inviting French doors that swing open up to lower West Broadway and a splashy open concept stainless steel kitchen replete with a jazzy brass bar and cloaked with serrated hand-carved stone. It is the restaurant’s design statement piece-de-resistance.
The true piece-de-resistance of Sola is unquestionably the food. ‘’Quality is the key!’’ says the urbane Milanese emigre turn chic restaurateur Simone Tiligna. ‘’The pasta is homemade, our sauces are homemade, even the focaccia is homemade, the burrata is homemade and the pesto is homemade.’’ The exclusive pasta is in fact made in-house at the Sola pasta factory at another location in the Financial District. ‘’We are Italian and we bring real Italian taste. Simplicity and authenticity and passion is the Sola credo,’’ the sexy restaurateur continued.
The menu of the chic Sola is deliciously minimal and consists of a range of 10 pasta dishes and four appetizers. And the array of pasta dishes arrive at the table Instagram-ready in custom-designed plating. It is swirl after swirl of the most delicious pasta you will find anywhere in Soho, New York City.
‘’We didn’t want a huge menu with a lot of items but we had to have our signature delicious staples.’’ And so, the Sola experience must begin with an order of the Crochette Di Pollo– delectable, melt-in-your-mouth organic chicken croquettes garnished with spicy jalapeno mayo, and a must order of Tempura Di Gamberi–the delicate and tasty shrimp tempura with shishito peppers and pepperoncini. The large gnocchi like orbs of stuffed porcini is also another worthy appetizer standout. Sip on the exquisite espresso martini or a glass of the house red Montepulciano and check out the bon-chic and bon-genre that will once again be flocking to lower West Broadway and Grand Street come the Spring of 2021.
Ryan Seacrest is a fan of the 24K Gold Spaghetti which is a squid ink sea urchin eye-catching concoction highlighted with Calabrian chile and gold leaf. ‘’Aaah…one of our best-sellers’’ says the handsome restaurateur in an even more charming and beyond endearing Italian accent. GW is completely smitten with the dapper style plate sitting before me, but once the food arrives–well that is another story entirely. The legendary fashion PR maven Kelly Cutrone orders in daily and she is a fan of the signature Cacio de Pepe and so too the famed DJ Steve Aoki. For GW it’s all about the Tagliatella Di Tartufo Blanco. The most decadent serving of truffled tagliatelle I have ever eaten! And instant Sola house classic! In one word–orgasmic! Other dishes guaranteed to have your foodie hormones in over-drive include anything with the fresh and distinct pesto or the classic ragu bolognese. And the camera-ready star of the night — the turquoise blue rigatoni Sola classic. Homemade rigatoni with blue butterfly pea coloring in a four-cheese sauce of mozzarella, pecorino, parmesan and cheddar. Watching the willowy Italian waitress bringing this dish over is like watching the unforgettable catwalk debut of the next great supermodel. It’s a gorgeous mesmerizing plate which takes the Sola dining experience to the next level.
And that’s what makes this tiny minimalist Soho face-place a must dine experience for the first days of Spring or the first days of a new year in Manhattan. The cool astute foodie looking to gorge on the tastiest pasta dishes in New York City and get into to the groove once again. We just found the perfect pasta mecca for you.
’We’ve created something cool and that was always the goal,’’ says the other business partner Marc Pedrazzoli. Elevated classic Italian dishes served up in a slick fashionista ready setting. In other words–experiential Italian! The sexy style plate Simone Tiligna, in his bespoke Italian suit, chirps and charms once more. ‘’We had to do something different. After all, we are surrounded by the best competition. So we had to truly bring it and make a difference. So Sola is our theatre. Sola is our story. Sola is your home for the finest pasta dining.’’ There is no doubt that when you visit to just go with the house Pasta Tasting– a prix fixe $95 offering opportunity to slurp down five different pasta dishes with your favorite dinner date. And a visit to the less formal, more low key sister satellite– Call Me Pasta at 241 Pearl Street– is also worth the trek. u