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Thursday, September 27, 2012

First Look: Pastaria

Posted By on Thu, Sep 27, 2012 at 7:00 AM

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Canestri cacio e pepe" (left) and house-made pistachio gelato (right) at Pastaria. - EVAN JONES
  • Evan Jones
  • Canestri cacio e pepe" (left) and house-made pistachio gelato (right) at Pastaria.

Gut Check ordered risotto balls, mixed with mozzarella cheese and fried, then served with two sauces alongside: one tomato-based, the other an herb aioli. We also tried a staff favorite, canestri cacio e pepe -- essentially a mac & cheese for grownups. Composed of large, house-made canestri (named for their vaguely basket-like shape), two cheeses (Grana Padano and pecorino) and black pepper, the dish is pure Italian, with minimal ingredients and maximum flavor.

The menu features a number of salads, pastas and wood-fired pizzas, with everything priced under $20. Desserts include house-made gelatos and sorbets of various flavors. Meinz says lunch service will be coming in the next month or so, and that a small retail space will be incorporated into the front of the restaurant. For now the retail offerings will focus on take-home pasta and gelato, but Meinz says there are plans to add cured meats, olive oil and other merchandise.

Note: Pastaria does not take reservations unless it's for a party of six or more, so plan accordingly.

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