Uptown Girl

Missy Robbins brings her peerless pasta to the UWS

Missy Robbins has never been one to shy away from a challenge.

When she was asked to move here last fall from Chicago to replace A Voce's previous chef, Andrew Carmellini, the 38-year-old didn't bat an eyelash. After a successful five-year stint as chef of Chicago's Spiaggia (a favorite of the Obamas), she was ready for something new.

Robbins's clean, elegant flavors and rustic pasta preparations were instant hits at A Voce, so much so that the restaurant has expanded into a setup nearly double the size of its Madison Square Park location: the 200-seat Time Warner Center space formerly occupied by Café Gray.

Though several menu favorites will move to Columbus Circle, the new A Voce has added weekend brunch and a new lineup of antipasti; click here to download a recipe for one of Robbins's favorites: stracciatella cheese with marinated tomatoes.

Naturally, the chef is most excited about her pasta. "I've got five full-time pasta makers," she says. "They're terrific." A few new pasta dishes worth trying: taleggio-filled pasta with chanterelles, and spaghetti with crab and sea-urchin butter.

For now, Robbins's biggest challenge is trying to be in two places at once. At the moment, she plans to zip between the two A Voces on a Vespa–as soon as she finds time to get her license.

A Voce Columbus, 10 Columbus Circle, third floor; 212-823-2523 or avocerestaurant.com