Take 2016's biggest dining trend, add one part burgeoning food technology integration, and shake together with a giant scoop of Harry Potter—conveniently celebrating 20 years since the first book's release—and you'll get an idea of what to expect at Pasta Wiz. Or maybe you won't, because this place looks pretty bonkers.
"We decided Pasta Wiz, it's like a wizard magical place, so we've made it Harry Potter-style. We decorated in a Harry Potter-style," owner Alex Dimitrov told Gothamist. "The magic is making the pasta so fast, and so good." With a wizard-themed pasta place following a unicorn latte, you'd have to think a dragon-themed fondue restaurant can't be far off. Oh, wait.
Dimitrov's been trying to open a restaurant in this space for nearly six years, facing stiff community opposition from neighbors who feared he'd replicate his "immigrant embassy Balkan disco dive bar extravaganza" Mehanata on the Lower East Side on North 1st Street.
"They thought I was building a nightclub. In the end, though, it's this," Dimitrov told us. "Every time I went for a liquor license, people were opposing me. I went back in September for a beer and wine license and said I was making a pasta place—they didn't believe me."
Now he's finally succeeded in bringing spaghetti and Sorting Hats to the neighborhood he calls "North Brooklyn."
The Hogwarts-esque chandeliers, baby grand piano and candles aren't the only magical elements up Dimitrov's sleep. In the time it takes to wave a magic wand, Dimitrov says a plate of piping hot pasta will be ready for inhalation. The restaurant promises that dishes will arrive from the kitchen between three to five minutes after ordering.
As with many fast-casual restaurants of its ilk—order off the tablet and pick up at the counter, there's no table service—the restaurant employs a mix-and-match method for DIY pastas, in addition to combinations they've tested and approved. There are classics including "Magic Meatballs" ($12.95) over organic spaghetti and meat/dairy-free options like the "Vegan Mediterranean" ($13.95) with olive oil, garlic, scallions, olives, sundried tomatoes, zucchini, basil, mushrooms and vegan parmesan cheese over organic spaghetti.
If Pasta Wiz takes off, Dimitrov plans to replicate his wizarding world elsewhere in NYC on a smaller scale, like so many sequels and spinoffs.
Additional reporting by Scott Heins.
60 North 1st Street, Williamsburg; pastawiz.com