A friendly new showcase for fresh pasta opens tonight; Cori Pastificio is the first independent restaurant for local chef Accursio Lota, who brings the cuisine of his native Sicily to North Park. Lota took over Cardamom Cafe and bakery earlier this fall, updating and reimagining the Upas Street space into a cozy 65-seat trattoria with an outdoor patio and a new dining counter that looks onto the open kitchen and a pasta-making area. Decorated with family artwork and a map of his hometown of Menfi, a municipality near the south coast of Siciliy, Cori Pastificio is a culmination of the chef’s 15 years of culinary experience, which includes local and global accolades and a seven-year tenure at Liberty Station’s Solare Ristorante.
His menu revolves around daily-made pasta that highlights regional shapes and preparations, from tube-shaped stinging nettle maccheroni with wild shrimp, Sicilian pistachio pesto, and Calabrian chili to cavatelli, or small pasta shells, served with fennel sausage, shiitake mushrooms, truffle oil, and pecorino. Lota will be basing all of his pastas on a mix of flours made with ancient grains sourced from Italy and other seeds and grains including buckwheat and spelt. The pasta and coordinating sauces, plus bottles from the Sicilian varietal-based wine list, will also be available for retail.
Other plates include gluten-free and vegan options as well as salads made with produce grown at nearby Youth FarmWorks urban farm on 30th Street and seafood crudo sourced from local fishermen. Lota says he plans to rotate the menu monthly and offer daily specials.
The restaurant is currently operating for dinner through the holidays but will start offering daily lunch and dinner starting in January.