There are so many details that have been flawlessly attended to, though you needn’t remark on them. You’ll feel them.
The just-hip-enough R&B soundtrack, the warm tones of polished marble and wood, the glass walk-in fridge stocked with produce, the uncluttered sightlines directing your gaze all the way to the kitchen at the back. There’s no clanging or crashing, no espresso machine roiling away, no raised voices—and yet this is not a sacred temple. People are having a heck of a lot of fun.
Details, details…. Servers who stealthily patrol the floor, ensuring each table has whatever it may need. The La Rosa cocktail delivered by bar manager Sade Lima, served in a vintage coupe and placed casually but precisely on a folded white paper napkin so that its plum hue is brightened by reflected light. Low-alcohol cocktails and cool-climate wines chosen with the food in mind. Sommelier Toni Weber, quick with a brilliant suggestion for every dish. Like a Roero Arneis from northern Italy chosen to complement the date-anchovy dressing of a Treviso salad (endive, walnut and ricotta salata), the wine’s soft acidity and supple texture framing each crunchy bite.
There seems to be purpose in every decision, yet there is a total absence of fuss. Rob Rossi and David Minicucci have created a knockout: a must-visit destination on the west end of College Street where chef Rossi’s former restaurant Bestellen operated for six years. The concept is simple Italian food made with the best ingredients, drawing on their Italian heritage and Minicucci’s experience at L’Unità, his other restaurant, where Rossi is now a partner.
The duo has spent considerable time distilling their notion of the ideal Italian restaurant experience to as few elements as possible. “We felt it was time to take things back to the beginning,” says Minicucci. “We wanted to showcase Italian cuisine in a very clean and light fashion. Essentially, dishes we would cook at home.”
Like the tonnarelli cacio e peppe—long pasta with Kampot black pepper and pecorino. It’s just three ingredients. Four, if you count the pasta water. That’s Giulietta. Minimal and irresistible.