White Plains resident Alessandro Crocco opened Papi restaurant in late January on Bank Street in the city, where he moved to from Italy in 2011.
“I fell in love with the city and what it had to offer,” Crocco recalled last week. “I chose the restaurant business because I like to be an ambassador of my own culture.”
A ribbon cutting ceremony for the eatery was held on Feb. 6.
Crocco said he chose to locate Papi on Bank Street because it is close to the White Plains Metro-North station and the restaurant offers a quick and affordable meal to commuters.
The concept of Papi is a fast casual Italian restaurant, Crocco said. The concept is to attract young customers and have them become regular patrons, he said.
Papi patrons come to the counter, choose their entrées, side dishes, drinks and deserts and food is delivered to their tables. Pasta and Papi’s take out pizza are prepared in an open kitchen and it takes between three and five minutes to prepare, Crocco said. Take-out and delivery are available.
Papi offers classic and specialty pastas. “We try to keep everybody happy with a classic American-Italian dish like spaghetti and meatballs,” Crocco said. “But we also like to offer something more unique like a carbonara sauce (featuring pork cheek) and amatricinna (pork cheek, tomato, pecorino cheese and chili).”
One of their pasta dishes is “The Original, 100 Percent Italian Lasagna,” an original recipe featuring besciamella sauce, ground beef, a ragu sauce and fresh mozzarella. “We all love lasagna, from little kids to adults,” Crocco said. Besciamella sauce is made from butter, flour and milk and is a substitute for ricotta cheese, which is typically featured in American versions of lasagna, he said.
Papi’s version of pizza is called pinsa. “It’s the Roman version of pizza,” Crocco said. The pinsa dough is fermented for up to 80 hours, he noted. “It’s crispy, yet soft,” he said. The oven used to bake the pinsas generates heat up to 1,840 degrees, he said.
Papi fries are also offered. They are fried potatoes offered with a variety of sauces.
Various vegan and gluten-free items are also available at Papi, as well as a kids menu.
Crocco explained how he came up with the name of his restaurant. “It’s very simple – pasta and pizza,” he said.
Papi is located at 15 Bank St. in White Plains. For more information call 914-328-6535 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.