Pastabilities

Categories: Eat-in, Italian
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Published on: March 21, 2014

To conclude my Downtown Restaurant Week experience, a friend and I went to Pastabilities. Just for a little background information, the Syracuse Downtown Dining Week is an event where participating downtown restaurants serve a three-course meal for the price of $25. And for restaurants such as Pastabilities, this is a pretty good deal.

It’s pretty hard to screw up pasta in general, so I was counting on a good meal. I had also been to the restaurant on a few other occasions, and always left full and satisfied, though with my wallet a little lighter.

My friend and I went on a cloudy Monday night around 8 o’clock, meaning there was no battle to find a parking spot downtown, and no wait in the restaurant. The restaurant was relatively quiet, but inviting with its warm, red décor and dark wood. The bar was not large, but had an ample selection of beers and wines, and if there had been a line to wait, I wouldn’t have minded hanging out there till a table was ready.

The hostess ushered us to our table, which was a little small and we were between two other larger groups. I was pretty hungry by this time, as I had saved my appetite all evening, and pretty much everything on the menu seemed tantalizing. Our waitress came, and we ordered our drinks. For this menu, we could choose two of the beers or wines for $10, and I started with a Buehler White Zinfandel. Usually I would go for a red wine with pasta, for tradition’s sake, but the one listed on the menu seemed too dry for my taste. The zin was surprisingly good, with a nice crisp finish.

Our waitress smiled politely, taking our orders, although it was quite apparent there was somewhere else she would have rather been. I’ve worked customer service for three years, going on four, and I know the feeling. Although, I think I can hide it a lot better than our waitress did. My friend and I were also taking our time chatting and reviewing the menu before we ordered, so I’m sure she wanted to smack us and make us hurry up.

We started with Pastabilities complimentary Italian stretch bread (which they bake across the street) and their “Hot Spicy Tomato Oil”, which is delicious. Probably my favorite appetizer downtown. The bread was warm and fresh tasting, the outside crust not too hard and the inside bread light and fluffy. It paired well with the dipping sauce, a slightly spicy tomato puree, with just the right amount of olive oil in it. I want to eat more of it just thinking about how good it was.

For my next course, I settled for a simple garden salad. It was okay. It was a salad. I actually hate ordering salads, I think they are a waste of money, but I wanted to save room for my main course. My friend got the house made wild mushroom ravioli, which looked delicious.

After ordering another glass of white zin, I was ready for my main course. I had settled on the fresh basil-walnut pesto on linguine. It also had pine nuts sprinkled on top and locatelli cheese, which is an aged, strong tasting pale-yellow cheese from the milk of sheep. (Don’t be impressed; I looked it up on Google later.) I’m a sucker for pesto, and the pasta did not disappoint. The basil and walnuts were very rich and complimented the pasta very well, and the pine nuts gave a great texture and crunch. If I had not gotten this dish, I would have settled on the baked “Hot-Tom” mac n’ cheese.

I finished half of the plate, and our plastic-smiling waitress asked for our dessert desires. We both settled on a slice of carrot cake each. I could barely finish a few bites. It was a pretty good carrot cake, not too exceptional, but a nice ending.

After the bill, and a not so great tip to the waitress, we basically rolled out of the restaurant.

Ratings
Foodwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
Servicewww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
Ambiancewww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
Overallwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com

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