After gaining a cult following during its two-year run as an exclusive, invite-only pop-up, pastaRAMEN said Tuesday that it is opening its first brick-and-mortar restaurant in Montclair in early February.
The first-ever Italian ramen shop perfectly marries Japanese and Italian cuisines in a style called “Wafu-Italian,” which blends ingredients, textures and techniques from both worlds. Co-founder and Chef-Partner Robbie Felice develops deep, umami-rich flavors to captivate guests and create a modern culinary adventure for the new age of fine dining.
“The response we received from our pop-ups in Seattle, Jersey City, Miami and Los Angeles was overwhelmingly positive, so, when it became clear that there was an appetite for pastaRAMEN and this new type of cuisine, we knew we wanted to give the restaurant a permanent home in Montclair, New Jersey,” Felice said. “As a chef, it’s incredibly rewarding to get to be creative and give people a dining experience they’ve never had before. Just imagine walking into an Italian ramen shop. That’s pastaRAMEN.”
At the forefront of the developing Wafu-Italian movement — which directly translates to “in the style of Japanese and Italian” — Felice’s expertise is showcased through an à la carte menu of decadent dishes. For beverage pairings, pastaRAMEN offers an extensive craft mocktail list. For those looking to imbibe, the restaurant is BYOB with no corkage fee, taking on a “dinner party” feel and inviting guests to bring their favorite beverages, gather around the table and celebrate any occasion.
pastaRAMEN is part of Montclair Hospitality Group — the chef driven, global hospitality company focused on curating unique restaurant brands and experiences. The elevated dining concept is a partnership between James Beard Rising Star Chef semifinalist Felice, chef-owner of the critically acclaimed Viaggio Ristorante and Osteria Crescendo, and Luck Sarabhayavanija.
Felice and Sarabhayavanija are two longtime friends who came up with the idea for pastaRAMEN in 2020 as a way to support restaurant staff during the pandemic and maintain the ability to dine in an intimate setting.
The team has plans for explosive growth and rapid expansion throughout 2023 and plans to be announcing additional pastaRAMEN restaurants and pop-ups in the coming months.