An underrated-in-New York delicacy is about to get its moment in the sun.
At Emanuele Bugiani's new Pasta Al Forno, a follow-up to his West and East Village restaurants, Bugiani is entirely focused on baked pasta—from timballo and ziti to lasagna. Baked pasta isn't often championed on New York menus, but at many restaurants it's a dish that adds to the hype. At Kiki’s, the Greek version known as pastitsio is certainly a sleeper hit. At nearby Don Angie, the hypnotic ripples of lasagna make it consistently one of the menu's most Instagrammable offerings. And, the lasagna at I Sodi is so popular, finally, after years of long dinner waits, the team has made its most-talked-about dish available at their first-ever lunch menu.
Now, Bugiani is giving baked pasta, in all its variations, more star power.
Here, crepe-like layers of pasta are served with ingredients such as ricotta, spinach, tomato sauce, hard boiled eggs or prosciutto. Presented in a shape that resembles a cake made of pasta (or one of those red, waxy Babybel cheese wheels), portions are served by-the-slice or as a whole. Prices for an individual slice run from $14-$18, but the whole pie can be purchased for $80. Some variations—such as the lasagna Bolognese—skew more traditional, while others—such as one with a fried eggplant shell—are clearly unique to Bugiani’s kitchen. Most dishes are vegetarian.
Soon, the team will also get their liquor license for ultimate pairings.
One thing's for sure, their characteristically small, irregular holes from the various pasta shapes may give people with trypophobia some unexpected grief.
The concept of the new spot is inspired by the original Pasta Al Forno in Florence, Italy. That restaurant first opened in 1964 and closed, decades later, in 2000. The OG Al Forno was conceptualized by Bologna pasta maker, Marino Pollacci, and is considered to be the the city's first-ever “baked pasta only” restaurant. We're excited to try this tasty homage.
Are you game for a slice of pasta-cake?
Pasta Al Forno is located at 167 7th Ave S, New York, NY 10014.