Experience a Japanese and Italian dining experience like no other at pastaRAMEN. pastaRAMEN made its grand debut via pop-ups back in February 2021, which took place in popular cities from Jersey City, Miami, Los Angeles, and others. The most recent omakase popup occurred in SoHo and featured a one-of-a-kind Wafu (Japanese-inspired) Italian omakase dinner from James Beard Nominated Chef Robbie Felice, completed with truffles, caviar, uni, mouth-watering Ramen, and more. 

The restaurant’s concept was inspired by the original 1950s concept at Kabenoana (“hole in the wall”), a restaurant located in Tokyo. pastaRAMEN made its grand debut as an invite-only omakase experience offered at luxe and exclusive pop-up settings in major cities such as New York, Miami, and Los Angeles. After having grand success as a pop-up in these key cities, the locale was reintroduced as the first ever creme de la creme Italian-style ramen shop located in quaint Montclair, New Jersey.

The mastermind behind pastaRAMEN is James Beard Nominated Rising Star Chef Robbie Felice, who has curated the ideal combination of Japanese and Italian culture along with cuisine. Felice and his business partner Montclair Hospitality Group’s Founder Luck Sarabhayavanija were bouncing ideas off each other for days when it came to the creative process behind the menu and name for the venue. He mentioned that half the names they came up with were unpronounceable, as they were in Japanese or Italian. With this in mind, Felice finally decided to name the restaurant pastaRAMEN, as pasta and ramen are both staples that everyone loves. 

I had the pleasure of visiting pastaRAMEN’s brick-and-mortar as well as attending the pop-up at Kinhouse in SoHo, where light bites, Prosecco, Sake, and wine were poured throughout the night. I felt as if I was hanging out at Wynwood Walls in Miami when visiting both locations, as artsy-like murals flooded the whole Montclair location as well as the Kinhouse space, which had spray painted couches laying about. Felice mentioned that art plays a huge role at pastaRAMEN, as artist-in-residence Victoria Poplaski curated a variety of unique murals and other small pieces which brought the space together.

At the Montclair location, the menu is à la carte. One of the signature dishes is the Cacio e Pepe Gyoza, which is a dumpling-like piece stuffed with savory Cacio e Pepe sauce. The Temomi Ramen Kurobuta Ragu was a brothless ramen I could go for seconds, as it reminded me of an orecchiette pasta with crumbled Italian sausage and sauteed broccolini since it contained sausage, broccolini, and soy meat crumble (photos below). Another brothless ramen dish I enjoyed was the Kezuri Ramen Alle Vongole, which had bits of pancetta, clams, scallions, and parsley sprinkled throughout. This dish had me reminiscing about a linguini and clams dish since it was rich and salty to the perfect point.

pastaRAMEN made its debut in the Hamptons this week for a special dinner party series. Kissaki owner Garry Kanfer struck a deal with Montclair Hospitality Group’s founder Luck Sarabhayavanija and CEO Joey Simons to bring this unique dining experience to the private omakase room at Kissaki in Water Mill (670 Montauk Hwy), which will take place till Monday, August 28th.

pastaRAMEN, 6 S Fullerton Ave, Montclair, NJ 07042 

pastaRAMEN The Hamptons, 670 Montauk Hwy Suite E, Water Mill, NY 11976

Photography Montclair location: Jeffrey Elkashab; photography Soho popup: Peter Bonacci