New Jersey Restaurateur Takes Over Former Pasta Cucina

Owner of restaurants in Mahwah and Ramsey, NJ is expanding into New City


Peter Mastorakos, owner of Roxanne’s Brick Oven Pizzeria Bar & Grill in Mahwah and co-owner of Varka Estiatorio in Ramsey, is renovating the former on South Little Tor Road.  The large two-level restaurant has been vacant since last July when it closed suddenly.

Varka’s Executive Chef and Co-owner George Georgiades said the building was undergoing extensive interior and exterior work. Contractors could be seen at the site on Tuesday painting, landscaping and working inside.

Georgiades shared some of the plans for the new restaurant, which has a target opening date of mid September.

“We’re going to do like a cool Italian restaurant style,” he said. “We’re doing some nice mahogany on the walls.”

Additionally he said there would be exposed brickwork and wood beams making it “very warm and family oriented.”  The menu will be similar to Roxanne’s with “authentic New York style thin crust pizza,” plus pasta, chicken, veal and seafood dishes offered in family and individual size portions. 

Georgiades said the main level would seat approximately 130 to 140 people. Upstairs will be used for parties for groups of 110 to 120 people.

Varka is a seven-year-old Mediterranean fish house that serves seafood from all over the world that is sold by the pound. It menu includes Greek specialties and Black Angus steak. Roxanne’s has been open for eight years.

Pasta Cucina had been a staple in New City for 16 years before it shut down.

A.Human July 18, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Basic Law of Economics - You cannot have Price, Quantity and Quality at the same time. One element has to be for the owner! It would be nice to have at least one quality restaurant in New City compared to all the dives I have seen and ate at here. :)
Sandra Siegel July 18, 2012 at 03:33 PM
I have a few comments. First I think that landlords should take into account what businesses are surrounding the area. There is Pakula's Pizza. By opening this restaurant, are they looking to put Pakula's out of business? The same types of businesses should not be located practically next door to each other. While there may be some differences in the business, if the food is the basic concept for the food is the same then someone gets hurt. I would welcome Roxanne's to Rockland County if they are a good quality restaurant. I just think that the other businesses should be taken into account before a location is established. Do not hurt one business to open another. Secondly, as for Pasta Cucina, they were an excellent restaurant when the original owners were there. Once sold, no matter who the chef was, the new owner made the restaurant a disgrace. I recently went to Caesar's Grill in Garneville. Caesar was the head chef at Pasta Cucina in New City. Caesar's Grill is like the original Pasta Cucina all over again and the service and food are excellent. Try that place too.
Rhea Vogel July 19, 2012 at 08:41 PM
I hope that they include some of the yummy grilled fish that they serve at Varka.
ROBYN HERBST July 19, 2012 at 10:53 PM
Do we really need another italian restaurant?? I agree with Rhea....the fish at Varka (as well as all their food) is something we could really use here in NC.
Watchdog July 20, 2012 at 12:48 AM
OK we will change it just for you. Give the guy a break. He invested his hard earned money into this business so let's not knock it before it opens please.


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