La Storia

The Sosta, meaning “break” in Italian, plays on the idea of a well-deserved break, as well as breaking bread over a great meal. Open seven days a week featuring an all-day menu and weekend brunch, The Sosta offers guests the opportunity to enjoy fresh, authentic Italian dishes, including a focus on signature, house-made pastas and sauces, zucchini pastas, chef-crafted salads, sandwiches, antipasti boards, seasonal soups, specially-curated house wines and beers on tap, fresh-baked cookies and locally sourced gelato from Fresco Gelateria in the East Village. Brunch includes breakfast pasta, spaghetti pie, seasonal egg dishes, local yogurt and granola bowls.  Our custom coffee blend and espresso program is in partnership with Devocion Coffee.



Samantha Wasser

Co-Founder + Creative Director, The Sosta


Samantha Wasser has built her career specializing in the development of fast-casual brands.  With an eye for design and unique ability to create a brand, Samantha oversees the branding, design, digital, social, expansion and more.

In 2014, Samantha launched Horchata de Nueva York in NYC’s Greenwich Village.  In 2015, Samantha founded by CHLOE., an award-winning, plant-based, fast-casual brand that has grown to 8 locations in NYC, LA, and Boston, with Providence, RI and London on the horizon in 2018.  In 2016, Samantha co-founded The Sosta with chef Ali LaRaia, a fast-casual Italian brand that opened in NYC’s Nolita in Summer 2017. In Spring 2018, Samantha will open her latest fast-casual concept, DEZ, offering a modern middle eastern menu in NYC’s Soho neighborhood in partnership with Chef Eden Grinshpan.

A graduate of George Washington University, Samantha has been recognized as one of Zagat’s “30 Under 30” and one of INC Magazine’s “30 Under 30” for her work in restaurant development.

Ali LaRaia

Co-Founder + Executive Chef, The Sosta

Growing up in restaurants, Ali developed a love and understanding of the business from an early age. While at the University of San Francisco, Ali worked as Managing Editor for Drink Me Magazine, before diving into working as a consultant for product development. Ali then joined the Test Kitchen team at CHOW, working alongside chef Aida Mollenkamp to develop and test recipes for the site. It was this experience that not only helped Ali to refine her culinary technique, but allowed her to fully understand how a recipe came together.

In 2011, Ali returned to New York to start Marianberry Cookies, an E-commerce brand selling a full line of all-natural cookies. Within 6 months, Marianberry was distributing nationally to one of the world’s largest high-end retailers. Learning classic Italian recipes from her mother, Ali took her love of Italian cuisine and began to travel through Italy to experience its regions, understand its ingredients and enhance her love and understanding of Italian cuisine through taste. 

After a string of “aha! moments,” Ali created the base for what has become The Sosta. In 2016, Ali partnered with Co-Founder Samantha Wasser to launch The Sosta brand, a fast-casual Italian concept that opened in New York City’s NoLIta neighborhood in Summer 2017. 

ESquared Hospitality

Founded on a commitment to “Exceeding Expectations” ESquared Hospitality delivers extraordinary food and excellent customer service at each property. What started in 2004 with the opening of the flagship restaurant, BLT Steak on 57th Street in NYC, their diverse portfolio of more than 10 brands and 24 establishments now spans across two continents. In 2015, ESquared Hospitality opened its first fast-casual concept, by CHLOE. to customer- and critical-acclaim, with plans for rapid national and international expansion.  The Sosta is ESquared Hospitality’s second Quick Service Restaurant. Visit for more information.