What: Stevie Parle’s newest spot, specialising in pasta. The name translates as 'one who makes pasta by hand', which is exactly what Pastaio does. Think Parle does Padella, with cocktail slushies, bang in the middle of Soho.
Who: Parle is the chef and restaurateur behind Dock Kitchen, Rotorino, Palatino, Craft London and a partner at Sardine. The venture is a world away from his other sites, so diners can prepare to queue for an evening meal. “I’m loving being in Soho”, Parle told BigHospitality earlier this week. “It’s great, it’s exciting, and it’s very different for us.”
The vibe: The 70-cover restaurant is around the back of Kingly Court, Carnaby’s booming foodie haven. It’s high footfall, no reservations, no-fuss dining. Designed by Tom Dixon's Design Research Studio, diners can expect communal tables, sharp service, and little elbow-room. The space is bright, airy, and the diner’s eye is drawn to the slushie machine, churning out frozen Aperol spritzes in the corner.
The food: The menu is concise and pasta-centric, with a choice of seven pastas and eight starters. Instagram-famous cacio e pepe is on the menu, alongside crab, courgette, yellow tomato and marjoram fusilli; tagliatelle with wild mushrooms, garlic and olive oil; malloredus with slow-cooked sausage sauce; and grouse rabbit and pork agnioli. Starters comprise the likes of a fried mozzarella, nduja and honey sandwich; and clams cooked in butter and grillo. Potato ravioli with gravy, egg yolk and truffle is off the menu for now due to truffle availability, but is rumoured to be making one-day-per-week only comebacks.
And another thing... If you’re thinking of going as a group, make sure you all turn up together. Teething issues early-on has meant that Parle has had to tighten up entry policies during busy periods. And if you’re short of cash and in-the-know, you can get £50 for spotting one of the restaurant critics on the ‘wall of mug shots’ before a manager does.