Chef Missy Robbins’ perpetually packed Italian restaurants, Misi (329 Kent Ave.) and Lilia (567 Union Ave.), haven’t opened their doors since New York paused in early March, much to pasta-lovers’ disappointment. But after a months-long break and an extended delicious Instagram tease, North Brooklyn’s favorite garlicky rigatoni is back in a new way.
A new project from Grovehouse Hospitality, the restaurant group to which Lilia and Misi belong, MP New York, will sell pasta kits along with specialty Italian provisions, for shoppers to cook Robbins-esque feasts at home. All profits from this initiative earned in June will be donated to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
MP New York’s online shop is split into three categories: Misi Pasta, which vends restaurant-style meal kits of homemade pasta and its accompanying sauce; MP Grocery, which will vend Robbins’ “favorite pantry items” like Calabrian chilies, extra virgin olive oil, vinegars and Parmigiano Reggiano, as well as a garden box with seasonal vegetables, herbs, poultry seafood and fresh ricotta; and MP specialties, which will be prepared foods. Grocery packages will be curated by Robbins and not customizable.
Aperitivi cocktails and a wine list will be be added soon, and rumor has it Misi’s beloved gelato will also soon be sold to-go.
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The first week’s pasta selection is Misi’s signature mezze rigatoni with 30 clove pomodoro, priced at $45 for a kit that includes both the fresh pasta and a jar of sauce to feed four to six people (or two very hungry people…). Pasta selections, which are based off the dine-in menu at Misi, will change frequently and be announced We will announce it the day before at 9am on Instagram @MPNewYork. Misi Pasta, an offshoot of Misi’s dine-in experience, launched earlier this year, inspired long lines of fans eager to buy the limited-edition “drops” of handmade pasta and sauce to-go kits on weekends.
For now, all orders must be placed online, and will be available for pickup at Misi in 15 minute time slots to prevent overcrowding. To start, pasta will be offered Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, and groceries will be available for pickup on Fridays.
In order to best protect customers, staff will undergo temperature checks before work, wear PPE and commit to social distancing in their personal lives.
While Grovehouse’s two restaurants have remained closed throughout the pandemic, they have not stayed under the radar. Grovehouse started an email newsletter, introducing front of house and back of house staff to fans and sharing recipes to cook at home in the restaurants’ absence. Co-founder Sean Feeney also made the news for visiting the White House to meet with President Trump and other restaurant executives on how to help the hospitality industry which has been in crisis since mandatory shut downs. And fans of Showtime’s Billions also saw the former Wall Street trader turned restauranteur (Feeney) and his business partner, Robbins, in an episode filmed pre-COVID.