At Seamless, we’re pretty obsessed with knowing everything about popular NYC restaurants—including the people who run them. With our Couch Convo series, we sit down with the people behind the most delicious local spots. Next up: Pietro, owner of Pietro Nolita. He dishes on his delicious tiramisu, how the coronavirus has impacted his operations and how Pietro Nolita stands out among other Italian restaurants.
Seamless: Hi, Pietro! Can you tell us why you decided to open Pietro Nolita?
Pietro: I’m from Milan and was born in ‘79. And Pietro Nolita was inspired by the colors of the Italian Riviera and the Memphis Group, an Italian design and architectural group born in the ’80s.
I also opened my restaurant in memory of my childhood and my mom’s recipes. But I wanted it to be a restaurant without the common Italian stereotypes, like the wheel of cheese, checkered table cloths and the salami hanging from the walls. I wanted to keep it fun, chic and soulful. Italians are known for their design and chicness so let’s embrace it!
Seamless: You mentioned your mom. How does Pietro Nolita pay homage to her?
Pietro: The restaurant is a token of appreciation for my mother and all women who work hard at raising little humans.
Seamless: There are a ton of Italian restaurants in NYC. What makes Pietro Nolita stand out?
Pietro: My mom came from Milan to help open the restaurant. She helped me find a chef who understood how to serve her recipes. So yes, there are a lot of Italian restaurants, but very few authentic Italian restaurants.
Seamless: Let’s pretend it’s our first time ordering, what should we get?
Pietro: Our pasta and cocktails are on point! The combination of a sophisticated portion of pasta with great ingredients and a cocktail made with fresh-squeezed lemon or lime is to die for!
Seamless: Tell us about that homemade tiramisu. What makes it so delicious?
Pietro: It’s very addictive and delicious! We make it from scratch with imported savoiardi, imported coffee and a little secret ingredient from my grandma’s recipe.
Seamless: How has the coronavirus impacted Pietro Nolita operations?
Pietro: I’ve been closed for a month and a half and am just now trying delivery. My mentality and way of life are all about interactions with people and enjoying food and drinks in good company in a cool environment. So this is all very new to me.
Seamless: How do you hope people feel when Pietro Nolita arrives at their door?
Pietro: Italian food should not be delivered! My mom is also against it. But I hope I can bring some happiness in these hard times.
Seamless: What safety precautions are you all taking to protect your customers, employees and delivery drivers?
Pietro: We follow protocols from web seminars and Cuomo’s people. Plus, we blocked our entrance with tables. For now, we have one cook, one manager and myself. I even deliver food, if someone calls it in and it’s nearby.
Seamless: Like everyone else, we’re obsessed with your pink decor. We know that you were inspired by ‘50s diners, but why pink?
Pietro: Pink is such a chic color and brings back memories of my childhood. I spent a lot of time in the Ligurian region where lots of buildings are pink, and we grew up in a very colorful apartment in Milan which was inspired by the Memphis Group. Plus, real men wear pink!
Seamless: Three words that describe your loyal fans. 1, 2, 3…go!
Pietro: Fun, cool and stylish!
Seamless: How are you staying positive during this time?
Pietro: Thinking about new strategies to keep the business alive.
Seamless: Anything else you’d like to share?
Pietro: F*ck corona!