Photo by Gary He, courtesy of Roscioli NYC

The One Who Keeps the BookNew York

How to Get Into Roscioli in New York


Reserve a table

New York’s latest impossible reservation comes to us by way of Rome from restaurateurs Alessandro Pepe and Ariel Arce. What started as a centuries — yes, centuries — old institution in the Eternal City finally arrived stateside for the first time earlier this summer. The new Roscioli – Tasting Menu, taking over the former Niche Niche space in the West Village, is giving New Yorkers a taste of Roscioli’s sublime Italian fare with an ever-changing pasta tasting menu and impeccable lineup of wines.

In October 2023, Roscioli opened its ground-level space for walk-ins and an à la carte menu, Roscioli – À la Carte, but if you want a table downstairs to try the tasting menu, you’ll have to get past their 1,200 person-strong Notify list.

In this edition of “The One Who Keeps the Book” we sat down with Roscioli NYC director of guest relations and events Amelia Giordano to chat about the best way to get a table, eating tiramisu every night, and what it’s like to work at one of the city’s buzziest restaurants.

Note: This interview has been lightly edited and condensed.

More from Resy

Resy: Your reservations drop 30 days in advance at 10 a.m. When do they usually fill up?

Giordano: We are so fortunate in this opening time right now. I tracked them one day and within one minute all the reservations for Fridays looking 30 days out are gone, although, of course, we are a small space. That is always great to see. We’re very lucky to have such high demand for the restaurant. It’s not always one minute, but I would say within an hour.

Wow. And do you use Resy’s Notify feature?

Yeah, we use Notify. It’s exciting for me to see it reach up to 1,200 people.

Is 1,200 typical, or the most you’ve seen?

Right now by the time we get to the day-of, we are looking at about an average of 1,200.

Whew. And you don’t hold any tables for walk-ins, right?

We don’t, just because we are a tasting menu restaurant, so we like to spend time when we do confirmations to reach out to see if there are any allergies or dietary restrictions. We are also just such a small space; we can fit about 40 people. So, we book up really quickly and unfortunately, we just can’t  hold space for dinner for walk-ins. Still, if there aren’t any private events, we do sometimes accommodate walk-ins in our wine cellar in the lounge area for some wine and snacks.

[Update: Since opening Roscioli – À La Carte in October, the restaurant does accept limited walk-ins upstairs.]

What You Need to Know

The carbonara Photo by Gary He, courtesy of Roscioli NYC

Plan Ahead: Reservations drop 30 days in advance at 10 a.m.

Walk On In: If you want to try the tasting menu, you’ll need to get a reservation. They take walk-ins at their à la carte ground-level restaurant, but on a very limited basis. Show up before 5 p.m. to add your name to the walk-in waitlist.

The Layout: The bar downstairs has four seats, and the dining room has 12 tables, including one large communal table that seats six.

Cacio e pepe Photo by Gary He, courtesy of Roscioli NYC

Pro Tip: Put in the work. Roscioli fact-checks you when you say you’ve tried everything to get a reservation and they do take your effort into account!

Must-Order Dishes: There’s only one thing on the menu — the tasting menu — and it’s a must-order. Dishes might include supplì alla Romana, cacio e pepe, salumi, conservi, and cheeses. Do peruse the extensive wine list, too.

Prime Time: There are two seatings nightly, one at 6 p.m. and the other at 8:30 p.m.

How many tables do you have?

We have 12 tables and four bar seats. Then, we have one communal table that can seat six people. We do the full tasting menu at the bar, too.

What’s the best seat in the house? Where are you sitting, if you get to choose?

Oh, that is such a good question. You hear this all the time, but we have really sexy booths. There’s this booth right in the center of the room that gives you a perfect view of everything without feeling obtrusive. You can see everything; you can see the bar, you can see the dining room, you can see a little bit into the kitchen. I like that table.

What’s the best piece of advice you can give to someone hoping to snag that table, or any table?

I think that it’s to be nice. I think you need to have determination, kindness, and sincerity. Sometimes I’ll just get a nice email that seems very sincere from someone who is familiar with the brand and has been to the location in Rome. Maybe they had a wonderful experience there and they live in New York and want to have that same experience in their home city. I think that’s always good. Also, I genuinely do check to see what kind of effort people are putting in. I will get a lot of emails saying, ‘It’s like it’s impossible to get a reservation!’ but I’ll notice that they’ve never put themselves on the Notify list or made any extra effort or attempt.

Also, in September we’re opening the à la carte restaurant, which will be walk-ins only. That is definitely going to be another opportunity for people to come in and dine with us. [Update: Roscioli – À la Carte opened in October 2023, and while it initially was walk-in only, it accepts reservations and has room for walk-ins as well.]

And how many seats will that be?

It’s around 25 right now.

What will be on the à la carte menu? Any of the classics from the tasting?

It’ll be all Roman classics. For right now, we’re planning to have the supplì, a personal favorite of mine, the cheesy rice balls. Hopefully, the cacio e pepe, carbonara, and lots of the Roman classics, too.

You’ll still only be able to get the tasting menu with a reservation, though, right?

Yes. The ground level space will always be à la carte, and the subterranean level will always be the tasting menu.

Tell me a little bit about you and your background. How did you come to work in this role?

When I was in college, I very randomly got a reservationist job at Major Food Group (Carbone, Torrisi Bar & Restaurant, Sadelle’s), and I grew within that role. I worked there for three years and then Ariel [Arce], who was the owner of and Air’s Champagne Parlor at the time, was one of my friends. She was opening this new concept that grew to be Niche Niche, and she asked me to come on to help her with guest relations and events. I started doing that in January of 2019 and then stayed on throughout the pandemic. Eventually this concept kind of rolled over into talking to the Roscioli lead team after they did a pop up with us in December of 2021. That kind of got the ball rolling as far as, “Oh, we could this. this could be a reality for us.”

Photo courtesy of Roscioli NYC
Photo courtesy of Roscioli NYC

How has it been opening a place that has such a storied history already in Rome?

It’s been so exciting and amazing to see. When we opened Niche Niche, it was a brand-new concept from someone who was established in the city, and it was really exciting to shepherd that in. This is so exciting in a different way. People aren’t familiar with it. There’s kind of a baseline that I really have personally liked; there is a high standard and expectations are very high. I think that that’s a good thing because we’re all trying to be the best that we can be.

It is also an enormous pressure. We want to make sure that people have, not the same experience that they have in Rome, but that they have some of those embellishments and flourishes of the experience that they had in Rome with a New York twist.

Photo by Gary He, courtesy of Roscioli NYC
Photo by Gary He, courtesy of Roscioli NYC

Is this different for you in terms of the level of demand?

Definitely, yeah. That has been like that has rocked all of us a little bit. Notify was always a thing we always used at Tokyo Record Bar, and it could reach up to like 500 people. But to see these numbers and to see people engaging with the brand, to see that so many people want to come into your restaurant … I mean, there’s nothing like that. It’s pretty remarkable.

Absolutely. Let’s talk food. What are your favorite dishes?

The No. 1 thing for me, and honestly for most people, so it’s kind of unoriginal, but I love the carbonara. It’s so true to the flavors that I have had in Rome. That’s been a great experience for me and I think for other people, it’s a transformative experience to be in New York City eating a very authentic Roman dish made by a Roman chef.

My second favorite is the tiramisu. I eat it every single night and I never get sick of it. I think that’s a true testament to a quality dish.

The attention to detail [with all the food], not just in the preparation but in the sourcing, is my personal favorite part of working with the Roscioli team.

Roscioli NYC is open daily from 6. until 11 p.m., with tasting menu seatings at 6 and 8:30 p.m. Roscioli – À la Carte is open daily as a deli/grocery shop from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and for dinner from 5 to 11 p.m. 

Ellie Plass is a freelance writer based in Brooklyn. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter. Follow Resy, too.