Giovanni Rana has been making fresh pasta in Italy since 1962. His restaurant, Giovanni Rana Pastificio & Cucina, brought that same tradition to Chelsea Market in New York City. In a glass-enclosed kitchen, they make pasta by hand for the restaurant, and to sell by the pound.
We stopped by Giovanni Rana at 12:50 p.m. on a Thursday. The restaurant was busy, with a mix of business lunches and tourists passing through. The kitchen sits above the restaurant, encased in glass so the diners can watch as their meals get prepared.
The kitchen is in somewhat of a spiral shape. On the far right side are the burners where the hot food gets prepared. At the end of that area, you can walk down to where there are deep-fryers and a prep counter. Make a left from there and there’s the cold prep table, where you can often find someone making their caprese salad of buffalo mozzarella and heirloom tomatoes. In the center of all that is where dishes get their final touches and go out to the dining room in the hands of the servers.