The oval: Italian pasta has never tasted so good

Conceptualized by Giuseppe Di Martino, third generation owner of the famous Pastificio Di Martino, The Oval is nestled in the well-designed space of La Devozione in Chelsea Market. The Chef’s Tasting Experience will take diners on a culinary journey for the best use of Di Martino’s varied pasta shapes with imported and local seasonal ingredients. Each dish on the seven-course pasta tasting menu is based on classic Italian recipes, reinvented by Giuseppe and Executive Chef Alessio Rossetti in a modern and experimental way.

The Oval is unlike any other experience in New York. Every aspect of every dish is steeped in specificity, starting with the uniqueness of dry pasta shapes paired with specific ingredients and flavor notes. Dishes are presented with custom-made crockery and cutlery, as well as Zalto glassware, all designed to enhance the dining experience. As each dish is prepared in its own pan, The Oval becomes a showpiece, as the chef has 750 pans at his disposal, creating intricate pasta dishes a minute in front of the customer. Classes are paced so that the chef can serve up to fifteen diners at a time, including parties with different start times. As the perfect pasta is served al dente, Giuseppe devised a serving method at The Oval to allow diners to indulge in the pasta at its peak texture, between 10 and 40 seconds after the dish is finished.

The Oval is led by Executive Chef Alessio Rossetti, originally from Caserta, Italy, and trained at IPSSAR Cassino in Lazio. He began his career at the 5-Star Luxury Hotel Grand Hotel Fasano in Gardone Riviera, as a chef de cuisine before arriving in New York in 2014, as a sous chef at Tony May’s SD26 and Black Barn as a Executive Sous Chef before running The Oval.
Rossetti’s spring menu focuses on acidity and bitterness, with ingredients sourced from Italy’s best producing regions at the height of their seasonality, such as bergamot and chili peppers from Calabria, and tomatoes from a region of Campania known as Quisisana.
The menu begins with an amuse-bouche, a deconstructed dry chilli spaghetti Aglio Olio, a fried wafer made with mashed pasta mixed with garlic, oil and chilli. The first course, Spaghettini al Limone, is cooked in lemon water which has been prepared over two days to allow the pasta to absorb the citrus flavors of spring, topped with Provolone del Monaco to cut the acidity and finished with lemon zest. The experience begins with the thin pasta as the dish’s quick prep time allows the rest of the menu to follow an impeccable pace and ensure they are served al dente. The next dish is Pacchero Calabria, paccheri, a large tube-shaped pastry, cooked in water and fish broth, served on a cut bergamot sauce with orange juice and garnished with smoked swordfish, carpaccio, Calabrian pepper, fennel salad, fennel beard, fennel pollen and Maldon salt; followed by Marco Polo, linguine cooked in water and oolong black tea with whipped garlic milk foam topped with Ossetra caviar; Sogno Rosa, eliche giganti a spiral-shaped pastry similar to tortiglioni cooked in salted water then creamed in an anchovy base served in a wine glass with beetroot cream, whipped goat cheese, almonds grilled and capers. The wine glass is then swirled beside the table by the waiter transforming the flavors and imbuing the dish with a deep pink color; Candele pancia di maiale e carciofi, a traditional long, tubular pasta from southern Italy that looks like candles and is broken rather than cut into a choice of pork belly or Ragu mushrooms; Seafood or seafood mix; with artichoke sauce, artichoke oil and squid ink; finish the savory dishes with La Devozione, the signature dish of the perfect spaghetti al pomodoro. The penultimate pasta course was designed by Giuseppe, as he and ‘Gambero Rosso’ founder and critic Stefano Bonilli traveled around Italy using spaghetti al pomodoro as a final test to decide how to rate a chef. The simplicity of the dish leaves no room for error, and it’s prepared perfectly every time at The Oval as a testament to Chef Alessio’s ability. The dish only takes 8 minutes to prepare; the pasta is boiled in water for four minutes, then cooked in a special Sorrento Coast tomato sauce and served with a gold fork on a unique long oblong plate designed exclusively for the dish. The tasting menu ends with a Tartelletta salsa ai Lamponi e Lemon Curd, a base of shortcrust pastry filled with a lemon cream, covered with raspberries, drizzled with a raspberry sauce and topped with small meringues.

To perfect the service, Giuseppe has recruited a trio of Eleven Madison Park alumni, including general manager/wine director Max Tierno, who began his wine career working under Laura Fiorvanti (Corkbuzz) for five years. before moving to Eleven Madison Park’s summer home in the Hamptons and Winter House in Aspen Colorado before joining the team at the three-star Michelin Flatironlocation where he worked with the Wine Spectator Grand Award-winning wine program, gaining experience serving the most prestigious wines in the world; Sommelier Janelle Jirau graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 2017 and went on to work at The Dutch and STARR restaurants before arriving at La Devozione; and bar manager Cristhian Rodriguez who embarked on a career behind the bar at the NoMad Hotel, where he immersed himself in the methodology of creating and serving the perfect cocktail before transferring to Eleven Madison Park.

Wine programme: At La Devozione, General Manager/Wine Director Max Tierno curated a wine list with a focus on France and Italy, from a mix of classic producers from regions such as Champagne, Burgundy and Piedmont. The program features promising new producers from developing wine regions like Campania, Calabria and Sicily to complement the cuisine.

Bar program: Rodriguez designed the bar program on four pillars: Italian elements, connecting the cocktails with Italian flavors and culture, reinventing them through a New York lens, while respecting the classics, including culinary aspects in the making of each cocktail and the personal stories. , because cocktails are not only designed to tell a story but to allow guests to tell theirs and create a memory.
Highlights of the cocktail menu include the Di Martini, a dry Martini made with Marconi 42 gin, dry and white vermouths, infused with sun-dried tomatoes and Fino sherry presented in a separate glass with pickled green strawberries and water-compressed cherry tomatoes; Aceto Pazzo, Old Forester 100 Bourbon, Nonino Amaro, lemon, roasted pineapple bush and toasted coconut; and Vetiver Negroni, a reference to Le Labo’s perfume with a scent that evokes reverence, made with Bootyard Gin, Campari, Alpine Amaro Braulio, our house vermouth Bitter Bambino and vetiver roots.

The bar program also features a number of Zero ABV cocktails like Commedia al Pomodoro, Tomato Water, Basil and Blood Orange Soda; Frutta Frizzante, roasted pineapple bush, coconut and sparkling water; Rose & Cardamom, an alcohol-free version of pinot noir made with roses, hibiscus, cardamom and cocoa.

The Oval serves a four-course tasting menu priced at $95 for lunch and a seven-course menu priced at $165 for dinner. Diners have the option of adding a wine pairing for an additional $95. Cocktail pairings are also available.

Places are by reservation only and are available through Resy.

LOCATION: Inside Chelsea Market: 75 9e Avenue, New York, NY 10011

Newly Launched 16 Exclusivee Entrance Street: 428 West 16e Street

WEBSITE: ladevozionenyc.com

PHONE: (646) 720-0215

INSTAGRAM: @ladevozione_nyc

HOURS: Wednesday – Sunday 12pm-3pm; 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m.

SEATING CAPACITY: 30