If pink is the new black then Pietro Nolita is in luck. The pint-sized Italian diner in New York’s Nolita is all pink. We’re talking pink walls, pink chairs and tables, pink flower pots, and even pink pasta (made with beets). Pietro Quaglia, who came to New York via Milano wanted to open a restaurant that was going to stick out from the other thousands of restaurants in the City. Coming from a fashion background, he was used to being surrounded by beauty. He wanted his restaurant to be “as cute as possible,” he says. “Like a little jewel box.”
And indeed, stepping into the 25-seat diner transports you to another era— think 50’s Palm Springs mixed with Barbie’s Dream House. Inspired by American diners, Pietro sought not to make an Italian restaurant in New York, but an American-style diner in New York, with an Italian flair. “Pink is a joyful color, it means happiness to me,” explains the spitfire Italian. “I wasn’t trying to reinvent the wheel; I didn’t understand why no one hadn’t done a pink restaurant before.”
It was a niche Pietro tapped into that New York obviously was ready and waiting for. Pietro Nolita opened in October and has already cultivated a massive following in both the food and fashion worlds.
When the fashion editor Giovanna Battaglia-Engelbert— one of Pietro’s best friends— wore the brand’s bold, “Pink As Fuck” shirt outside during NYFW, street photographers went ballistic and suddenly Pietro’s personal logo was all over Instagram. And with Instagram fame comes followers (and tourists) and Pietro Nolita has been busy ever since.
Thankfully, the food lives up to the hype. Boasting a seasonal menu of healthy, high-quality Italian options, Pietro Nolita serves up lighter, cleaner versions of traditional dishes that are gluten-free and not smothered in butter. “We like to keep it simple and fresh,” says Pietro. “I put 15-20 items on the menu so you don’t have much choice. It’s an I’m-deciding-what-you-eat kind of thing. This way I know what you eat will be good.”
Pietro’s customers are trusting his picks and he often has clientele staying in the cozy enclave for hours, which he admits isn’t quite good for turn-a-round, but at the end of the day, he doesn’t mind. He enjoys this new role of his, and laughs when he says he’s there 100% of every day. He has created a carefree place in the middle of the City where people feel inspired, refreshed and Pink as Fuck.
Lindsay DeLong is the Managing Editor of The Fullest. She thinks if pink is the new black then Pietro Nolita is a light rosé in a dark roast espresso. Or perhaps a Spaghetto Al Pomodoro with beet sauce in the middle of a New York night. Either way, she’s hungry AF. Find her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on social media via @lindizzaster.