The chef behind Sforno Trattoria Romana on Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall and Caprese Trattoria in Longmont hopes to open an authentic Roman trattoria in Lafayette soon after Valentine’s Day in a space that for many years was home to a popular Chinese restaurant.
Marco Monnanni, who was born in Rome and was a restaurant apprentice by age 14, will bring the cuisine of the Italian capital’s Lazio region to Bucatino at 1265 S. Public Road.
“We’ll try to bring something new to Lafayette,” Monnanni said, “a fresh take on Italian food at an affordable price so families can come and people can enjoy two or three times a week.” Prices will range from $9 to $28, he said.
The 4,500-square-foot space with an outdoor patio had housed Ting’s Chinese Restaurant until the owners decided to retire and closed their eatery in October. They maintained ownership of the building, however, and worked through broker Steve Anderson at Re/Max Alliance of Louisville to find a new tenant. Anderson told BizWest he received an “overwhelming response” from restaurant interests before finally working with the Tings to lease the space to Monnanni and his wife, Elodie Lisle.
Monnanni’s resume includes stints as chef and partner at Antica Roma, Acqua Pazza and Bacco Trattoria and Mozzarella Bar in Boulder. He opened Parma Trattoria Mozzarella Bar at 1132 W. Dillon Road in Louisville in 2011, then sold it four years later to Emilio Perna Ruggiero. He returned to the site of the closed Antica Roma at 1308 Pearl St. in 2014 as chef when owner Leslie Young opened Sforno there. He then opened Caprese Trattoria at 1067 S. Hover Road in a space that had housed fast-casual Mediterranean restaurant Basil Flats.
Monnanni said he and his team are remodeling Ting’s to “look like a traditional Italian restaurant. We’ll be open seven days a week for lunch, dinner and happy hour.”
The new restaurant’s name comes from the hollow bucatini pasta the restaurant will make on site, and Monnanni said four different dishes will feature it.
The pinza bread he’ll use for sandwiches will also be used for some of the pizzas. “It’s a little different,” he said. “We make the dough 72 to 96 hours ahead, and it’s made with soy, whey and rice flour so it’s very low in gluten.”
Monnanni said Bucatino will employ about 20 to 30 workers.
“I am the chef, so I’m going to be there a lot, especially when it first opens,” Monnanni said. “People are going to see me when they come in.”
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