New(ish) Kid on the Block: Sola Lab

So here’s the concept: ditch the celebrity chef, because then they leave you and you’re, well, you know. Instead develop reliable, simple but delicious meals that can be scaled and replicated. That’s the idea behind the Sola Pasta Bar on Grand and West Broadway, The Pastagram on Pearl, and the laboratory for both, Sola Lab, which is tucked away on Beekman between William and Gold. That’s where the ideas start.

“I don’t like to call it a restaurant. It’s something different,” said Simone Tiligna, the owner, along with Nicola Pedrazzoli.

The Lab is intimate, private, good for events – and behind the scenes is an industrial kitchen producing the basics for the other two. There’s a few bar stools tucked against the wall, but for the most part, the seating is at a generous communal table for 12. (We sat happily at one corner while another party took six seats at the other end.) The dishes were inventive and beautiful and rich. And since the block is quiet, with only the retaining wall of Pace across the street, it feels a bit like a secret hole in the wall. All of us were given a gift of homemade Italian pasta to take home at the end of the meal.

At The Pastagram, customers can mix and match their sauce, pasta and toppings for a fast casual, counter service experience. The idea is you can get a very good plate for $10 to $11, along the Sweetgreen model. And at Sola Pasta Bar, the kitchen is an island in the middle of the restaurant, with the chefs completely open to their customers.

“Our idea is to create a concept then a brand and then more locations,” said Simone. He said they are aiming five or more labs, and as many as 30 pasta bars, if the idea takes off. They create new dishes all the time in the lab and change the menu every two weeks. “In a city like New York, people want something different. They want to find something new when they come in.”

The business partners came from Milan in 2017 with the idea ready to go, and so far, it’s working. “Nothing is simple, but the difficult part here is in the kitchen, making sure we have great quality and repeatable dishes. The rest really is simple.”

Sola Lab
45 Beekman Street

The Pastagram
241 Pearl Street

Sola Pasta Bar
330 West Broadway



  1. How about some pictures of the food?