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Ristorante Rafele

In the historic West Village of New York City, Chef Raffaele Ronca delivers authentic Neapolitan flavors to the Big Apple.

A few years ago, Raffaele Ronca and Romeo Palmisano, a longtime friend and fellow native of Naples, began discussing the possibility of one day opening their own restaurant. Their idea was one that would avoid the clichés of traditional Italian cuisine and instead feature exquisite delicacies inspired by their beloved Naples.

Working together with a unified vision they planned every detail, from the eclectic menu of regional Neapolitan favorites and fresh daily made pastas, to various meat dishes, fresh delights from the sea and a renowned wine list.

With an unwavering dedication to create a welcoming culinary experience, special touches such as weekly fresh flower arrangements were a must-have in the décor planning. The result of their hard work was realized in the summer of 2012 with the opening of their debut restaurant, Rafele.

Raffaele Ronca, Chef

Born and raised in Naples, Italy, Raffaele Ronca comes from a family of butchers and fishermen who collectively inspired his lifelong passion for food and flavors. With his family also in the restaurant business, Raffaele embraced cooking and culinary explorations as integral parts of not only his Italian culture, but also his heart and soul.

Working in his uncle's restaurant in Naples and helping his mother make fresh pasta daily, Raffaele learned to respect the beauty and taste of fresh ingredients, as well as the time it takes to select and prepare them for fine dishes.

Immigrating to America at the age of 21, Raffaele worked steadily at some of New York's most authentic Italian restaurants, including as the executive chef at Palma, chef du cuisine at Bellavitae and manager of food and wine at Caffé Torino.

Today, Chef Raffele Ronca is a winner of the hit Food Network show “Chopped.” He is also a collaborator with the James Beard Foundation, and his signature Buffalo Riccotta Cheesecake has been featured twice in Food & Wine magazine as one of the top cheesecakes in America, in addition to having received other impressive culinary accolades.

Chef Raffaele's second restaurant, Rafele Rye, will make its debut in Westchester County, NY, in the spring of 2018.

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