Breakdown of a Pasta Dish from SRV

The Venetian-style bacaro opens this month.


Photograph by Anthony Tieuli

A chance encounter in a tiny Italian kitchen sparked a long-lasting friendship between chefs Kevin O’Donnell and Michael Lombardi. One could say it was kismet: As the only American chefs working at Lorenzo Polegri’s Zeppelin, in Umbria, the two developed a rapport that led to stints at Mark Ladner’s Del Posto; L’Office, in Paris; and, finally, the Salty Pig, in the Back Bay. Now O’Donnell and Lombardi are turning that six-year-long friendship into their “dream” restaurant, a Venetian-style bacaro that they’re calling SRV (Serene Republic of Venice). “Obviously we love Italian cuisine and feel that we have a great core knowledge, but we wanted to take it a step further,” O’Donnell says. At SRV, the experience is enhanced by an Italian-heavy wine list, expertly made cicchetti, and pastas built from the ground up, using Four Star Farms grain milled in-house. “It’s a big commitment on our part,” O’Donnell says, “but the flavor is just unparalleled.”

In the dish above: Half-moon-shaped casunziei are stuffed with roasted beets and tossed in butter; the typical poppy-seed garnish is paired with nori and turned into an umami-rich pesto, and rather than fill the pasta with cheese, O’Donnell spreads a layer of house-smoked ricotta on the plate.

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