St. Louis Chef's Pasta Fast Casual, Porano, Now Open

Jan 27, 2016 735

Porano Pasta, the new Italian fast casual from James Beard–winning chef Gerard Craft ("Best Chef: Midwest" in 2015), opened today in St. Louis, Missouri. The new concept, Craft's fifth restaurant under Niche Food Group and first with counter service, lets customers build their own bowls using a variety of authentic Italian ingredients. Porano is named after a town north of Rome that inspired the new restaurant.

"It's really a place where I fell in love with Italian culture more than just the food. I've been to Italy, but never before had I really met families that lived there and chefs that lived there," he says. "We met all these people and sat down at the table with all these people we barely knew, and it was like we were family instantly. ... We wanted to bring that level of hospitality and warmth into a fast-food concept."

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