Both Pasadena and Downtown are about to get the royal treatment. L.A.'s only pasta truck owned by an actual prince—yes, really—will open up shop later this year, first with a Prince of Venice delivery service stationed in the former Le Cordon Bleu Pasadena space, then with a brick-and-mortar restaurant in the Arts District.
The truck already makes its way through the city on weekdays with extruded pastas made on-site, be they tossed in a colorful sauce for immediate enjoyment or sold uncooked for your take-home pleasure. It's this access to fresh, authentic pasta that owner Emanuele Filiberto di Savoia wanted to bring to Los Angeles when he launched the truck last summer, and it's exactly what you'll find brought to your door as early as next month.
The would-be heir to the Piedmont and Venice thrones recently tapped Elizabeth McCoy to helm his concepts' menus, and with four years under her belt as a pastaia—working at Otium, Miro and All'Acqua, among others—McCoy knows a thing or two about building a pasta menu.
"We'll have the basics—bolognese, bucatini, cacio e pepe—but I'm also going to be doing a lot of filled pastas like English pea and ricotta ravioli, four-cheese tortellini, stuff like that, and bringing a lot of my signature shapes—like corzetti stampati—onto there," says McCoy. "You'll get a good selection."
The Prince of Venice delivery service is expected to launch sometime in September, initially serving Pasadena only, but more than likely expanding to nearby neighborhoods shortly thereafter. Its menu will draw upon the truck's pasta and dessert focus, while incorporating more of what you can expect from the forthcoming restaurant: handmade noodles, regional classics, antipasti and a selection of non-pasta entrées. Look for specials involving bottarga and truffles, and ingredients more often than not sourced from local farmers' markets.
Then, by the end of the year, find a full-service restaurant at 555 Mateo Street, which will feature a pasta lab—where you'll witness noodles being made by hand—plus a bistro, fresh pasta and sauces to-go, and possibly even a wine bar. You'll also find dishes not conducive to food-truck or delivery-service menus: fried squash blossoms and more delicate composed plates, for instance.
"It's going to be the same theme: a combination of the classics you might find a variation of on the food truck, and a little bit more rustic, regional cuisine, a couple of glimpses of things you might not see in any other restaurant," McCoy says. "One of my specialties is going into restaurants and putting pastas that literally nowhere else in town is serving."
Can't wait to taste this princely pasta? Prince of Venice is cooking up multiple Feastly pop-ups this month, where you can try a bit of what's to come. But act fast: each dinner only offers 28 seats. Of course, there's always the truck, which isn't going anywhere—or, more accurately, it's going all over the place, continuing to bring us all fresh pasta even once the new locations open.
Prince of Venice launches Pasadena delivery service in September, with an Arts District restaurant to follow later this year.
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