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Homemade Pasta to Mix with Live Music at Midtown Trattoria

By Alan Neuhauser | December 3, 2013 12:03pm
 Fabio Camardi said he plans to open Pastaioli restaurant on West 28th Street in Midtown in May or June 2014.
Pastaioli Restaurant Opening in Midtown
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MIDTOWN — It's pasta you can tap your feet to.

Fabio Camardi — the man behind Mercato Trattoria in Hell's Kitchen, a narrow Michelin-rated Italian eatery tucked away near the Port Authority Bus Terminal — will be opening a new two-story restaurant in Midtown this spring featuring live music along with his pasta dishes.

Pastaioli, located a 4 W. 28th St. between Broadway and Fifth Avenue, will offer homemade pastas, periodic live jazz and blues performances and a downstairs lounge and bar area, all in a landmarked building on the former Tin Pan Alley.

"It's going to be a traditional Italian trattoria," said Camardi, 35. The first floor "will be more taverna style," he added. "Downstairs, it's going to be more of a lounge area."

The restaurant and lounge will together seat about 200 people. Prices will be similar to those at Mercato Trattoria, he said, with bowls of pasta starting at $14. The restaurant's in-house pasta will also be on sale for patrons to cook at home.

"Pasta will be the heart of the place," Camardi said. "Going to try to build a brand."

Camardi, who lives in Williamsburg with his wife and two children, has been working to open the new restaurant since March, when he first signed the lease. The extra restrictions and regulations that came with the building's landmark status have slowed the gut renovation that is now underway, but Camardi said he hardly minds.

"I'm glad it's old," said Camardi, who hopes to one day open a bed-and-breakfast in a 400-year-old building in his home province of Puglia, Italy. "I like old buildings. I like architecture."

The 28th Street structure, a former brownstone row house, dates from the early 1860s, city records show. Camardi plans to renovate the space with exposed brick walls and hanging lamps, but the highlight will be the food.

"Ingredients imported from Italy, other than meat and fish," he said. "Don't stock anything — just fresh every day."

Community Board 5's liquor license committee gave advisory support to Pastaioli's liquor license at a meeting last week.