A new Italian restaurant will be opening on Friday, April 7 at 1645 Third Avenue (at 92nd Street), which was formerly home to Corner Café and Bakery. La Voglia, which translates to “the desire,” has internationally acclaimed Salvo Lo Castro on board as executive chef.
“I chose the kitchen when I was very young, at 12 years old,” said chef Salvo La Castro in a 2021 interview with the Romanian Observer. La Castro attended culinary school in Sicily before moving to Rome, where he cooked for celebrities including Robert De Niro, Anthony Hopkins and Nicole Kidman. Perhaps most impressive is that Pope John Paul II dined on La Castro’s cuisine in the Vatican for over a decade. “Normally, when he ate alone, he ate like a normal man,” said La Castro.
Before his newest venture with La Voglia, La Castro also spent time working in Romania, but his focus comes back to his homeland. “My recipes are based on an important foundation inspired by the gastronomic history of Italy,” says La Castro on his website, which also mentions his services as a private chef and restaurant consultant. “The cuisine is known for its health and balanced approach to cooking, using a moderate amount of protein and emphasizing fresh, seasonal ingredients.” La Castro also touts working in five-star hotels and Michelin-star restaurants. He’s also appeared on foreign TV cooking shows like Chefi la Cuțite in 2017.
Some sneak peeks of La Voglia’s layout have also been shared; photos show marble flooring, a bar area, and what looks like a private room.