|Michael Pagliarini traveling in Umbria, Italy|
Italian arrival Giulia (pronounced Julia) is slated to open at 1682 Massachusetts Avenue, between Porter and Harvard Squares, in mid-October. Locals might recognize the space as the former home of short-lived Rafiki Bistro and once-upon-a-time Forest Café.
Chef-owner Michael Pagliarini (executive chef of Via Matta, sous-chef of Radius) told us the menu will be regionally inspired Italian food from “up and down the coast” of Italy. Umbria, the central region, will also be relevant, which lay claim to Pagliarini’s family roots - they were lentil farmers there.
A custom-built “pasta table” will be central to the 70-seat dining room - the table will be used as a pasta making station during the day and as a communal table near the open kitchen for dinner service. The bar will also offer a snack menu and craft cocktails, as well as an all-Italian wine list and local beers.
“Excited. Terrified,” is how the 38-year-old chef feels about his first restaurant, which he’s opening with his wife, Pamela Ralston. The two were strolling along Via Giulia in Rome last summer when the inspiration for the name hit.
Pagliarini is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. He's worked with renowned chefs Grant Achatz at Trio in Chicago, and staged for two weeks with Heston Blumenthal at his world-renowned The Fat Duck in Berkshire, U.K.
Giulia; 1682 Massachusetts Ave.; expected to open October