Pasta Beach, an Italian restaurant that opened on Boston’s waterfront (30 Rowes Wharf) in 2010, has been closed since a September 2019 fire that reportedly started in the building’s ductwork and caused approximately $350,000 in damages. Nearly three years later, it finally has a reopening date — June 25 — and an eye-catching tropical redesign, per teaser photos the restaurant’s been sharing on social media.
“When I return to Italy, every time over the past three decades, I find something new ‘in the old’; two periods of time, new and old, coming together in perfect complementary form,” writes co-owner Susie Ropolo. “That is the best way I can describe the magic of the new Pasta Beach at Rowes Wharf.”
Susie and husband Gianni Ropolo are behind Pasta Beach, which also has an older location in Newport, Rhode Island, and a newer one in Providence, Rhode Island; Susie is a native of Rhode Island, while Gianni hails from Turin, Italy, where he reportedly worked as an oral surgeon. The business is truly a family affair: Their son Tyler Ropolo made the light fixtures for the revamped Boston restaurant in collaboration with artisans from Turin.
The restaurant is inspired by “the endless plate of spaghetti pomodoro you find on every corner in Italy,” Susie Ropolo said in a 2017 interview with website Boston Voyager, particularly at a trattoria in Turin where she and her now-husband would go nearly every night.
Pasta Beach — tagline “life’s a beach” — serves a menu that jumps around to several Italian regions, particularly in the north of the country, with dishes like cicchetti, small bites most notably served in Venice; entrees like a Piedmont-style braised beef and a Milanese chicken dish; classic Bolognese tagliatelle and lasagna; and more.
There’s pizza, too, which has been a bit of an under-the-radar hit for Boston diners and restaurant industry folks. In a 2014 interview with Eater Boston, Dante and Il Casale chef and co-owner Dante de Magistris shouted out Pasta Beach as his favorite local pizza, recommending ordering it well done (a good pizza move in general). “Most people around here would consider that to be burnt,” he said at the time. “However, I consider it perfect and how I remember eating it a million times in Naples.” He noted that Pasta Beach uses “a precise Neapolitan pizza dough recipe,” resulting in a “fluffy, light, chewy, and slightly crispy” crust and an overall “delicate, satisfying pizza” that leaves room for beer and more food.
In an interview for the same piece, North End restaurateur Frank DePasquale also praised Pasta Beach’s pizza. “It is delicious with simple flavors, and it stays true to the definition of a pizza,” he said at the time.
The revamped location will also feature pinsa, a Roman-style pizza with an airy crust made of a blend of four flours.
Keep an eye on Pasta Beach’s social media for more updates leading up to this weekend’s reopening.
Starting June 25, Pasta Beach’s Boston location — know as Pasta Beach Rowes Wharf or Pasta Beach RW — will be open Wednesday through Sunday, starting at 4:30 p.m. Indoor and outdoor seating is available.
Update, June 22, 2:25 p.m.: This article was updated to include additional details on Pasta Beach’s reopening, including notes on pinsa, and an additional photo.