Robbie Felice’s Japanese-Italian restaurant pops up in NYC salon

Gerard Ortiz

James Beard-nominated chef Robbie Felice has opened his most recent “secret” Manhattan cafe — this time a Japanese-Italian eatery that is found within a Soho hair salon, Aspect Dish has learned.

Diners on the lookout to score one particular of just 12 seats for the $295-a-person, 10-system omakase menu — with dishes like cacio e pepe fritti, truffle porcini ramen and dry-aged Japanese A5 Wagyu — can only e-book a slot by using a “secret” url on Resy located on the restaurant’s site and social media. 

They are then texted the key area of the continue to-unidentified elegance shop — which the proprietor also declined to disclose to Side Dish — the day just before their reservation.

The pop-up, termed pastaRamen, offers two different seatings only on Sundays and Mondays – when the salon is shut.

It released April 2 and will run by way of Memorial Working day.

The principle of the furtive feasts is the brainchild of Felice and grew out of necessity soon after the COVID pandemic compelled him to briefly shut his two New Jersey dining establishments, he advised Aspect Dish.

“I nonetheless needed to hold my foot on the fuel and continue to keep cooking, so I secretly snuck folks into my restaurants for non-public dinners,” mentioned Felice, 32, who runs Viaggio Ristorante in Wayne, NJ, and Osteria Crescendo, in Westwood, NJ, with his father, Joe Felice.  

 “I’d contact them Tuesday tastings, and I’d prepare dinner for just two, four or six people at a time. That is the place I tested my thought,” he included. 

It also served him deliver his staff of 50 workers back again soon after the pandemic, stated Felice, who life in West New York, NJ, with his two cats, Truffle and Mochi.

His pandemic gambit immediately drew a cult pursuing, top Felice to branch out with pop-ups at far more lavish spots close to the country. 

He set up shop at a 68th-ground luxurious penthouse in Jersey Town overlooking the Manhattan skyline, on the roof of the trendy Faena Resort in Miami, in a glass studio with a clearly show kitchen area in Seattle, a meals studio in Los Angeles, and then back to Miami for Artwork Basel in a luxurious waterfront residence.  

“Everyone enjoys pasta and ramen. They are two names that everybody can say. It’s standard, and screams what we do, so we ran with it,” Felice mentioned.

The fusion of the two noodle-centric cuisines blends substances and procedures from both of those cultures.

The Japanese design and style – referred to as wafu — brings together the coastal flare of the island nation with the rustic type of Italian cooking.  

Felice said the cuisines have identical taste bases — like a shiso leaf, which brings together the Italian-favored flavors of basil and mint. 

The reputation of the pop-ups inspired Felice to open his to start with brick-and-mortar pastaRAMEN in Montclair, NJ, a few months back.

He teamed with Montclair Hospitality Team and his close friend and fellow restaurateur Luck Sarabhayavanija, of MHG’s Ani Ramen, on the BYOB, 65-seat eatery in an 1,800 square-foot area. 

Iron Chef Morimoto with Felice.
Iron Chef Morimoto with Felice.
Jeffrey Elkashab

Followers include things like Iron Chef Morimoto, who stopped by the Soho pop-up with MHG’s CEO Joey Simons just before its opening. 

The house is reworked in the evenings into a culinary oasis by street artist Victoria Poplaski.  

Now MHG is planning to launch another pastaRAMEN and a new Morimoto principle in Washington condition this tumble. 

A extra lasting Manhattan outpost could also be in the operates, sources advised Facet Dish. 

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