words by Carol King
Italian chef and entrepreneur Giovanni Rana has opened a restaurant in Chelsea Market, New York City.
Renowned as the producer of a range of fresh pasta, Rana went into business 50 years ago and since then, his company has become the leader in the European fresh pasta market. His new venture in New York, the Giovanni Rana Pasta Kitchen, is a 140-seat restaurant and bar, where fresh pasta is made daily in a glass-enclosed pastificio.
The menu includes antipasti, pasta dishes, main courses, salads and desserts. There is also a takeaway service. Hand-selected regional Italian products and prepared foods are available for purchase, such as Antica Dolceria Bonajuto Modican chocolate from Sicily and aged balsamic vinegar from Reggio Emilia.
The Giovanni Rana Pasta Kitchen is lovingly styled: hanging from an exposed brick wall by the bar is Rana’s Guzzino red, vintage motorbike that he used to deliver his fresh pasta to groceries more than five decades ago. Throughout the restaurant, materials and objects refer to pasta making, from the first pasta cutter used by Rana to make tortellini by hand, to the first machine he created to make ravioli. The bar is decorated by 200 graters found in flea markets, and handmade copper pots and pans.
Rana owns restaurants in Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Britain and Luxembourg, including the Ristorante Perbellini in Isola Rizza, Verona, which won two Michelin stars in 1996 and 2002.