From the walls, to the plates and bar stools, everything inside NoLIta Restaurant is bubblegum pink.
In the middle of a quiet Elizabeth Street block, above an unmistakably pink subterranean stone entryway with flower boxes of mottled caladium leaves, a neon starburst with a smiley face announces a new arrival: the full-service “healthy Italian” Pietro Nolita restaurant. The owners are Pietro Quaglia and Mina Soliman. They met in 2003, when Soliman was working at Indochine as a maître d’.
From the walls, to the plates and bar stools, everything inside NoLIta restaurant is bubblegum pink, save for a few house plants and the vintage copper sugar tins that line any unclaimed shelving space. The custom-made design-standout is the product of hours spent scouring eBay, vintage markets, and even Mexico, where Quaglia found the perfect pink tiles to line the bathroom. The décor is Memphis Group-inspired rose and designed by Jeanette Dalrot.
There’s a zigzagging leather banquette, set in pastel-stained wood against a wall painted with pink-and-white racing stripe. Then there are slices of mirror and neon bars throughout, as well as white starbursts hand-painted on the bar. The furniture was all custom-made to accommodate the space, which seats 30 and clocks in at under 1000 square feet. A tiny chef’s window looks out over the black-and-white graphic formica tables. And also pink plastic lattice dish to serve piadina or focaccia.
However the pink theme extends beyond the design – Pietro Quaglia plans to make pink cocktails and, once he perfects the recipe, pink tiramisu. The menu is clearly inspired by the cooking of Quaglia’s mother Patrizia Ferrario, but the menu at Pietro will favor light, clean versions of Italian mainstays, such as a “secret recipe” for pasta alla carbonara, with only a little butter and no cream, and branzino with pink peppercorn and lemon zest.
Pietro Nolita is located at 174 Elizabeth St, New York.
Credits by Pietro Nolita