This post is going to have an exceptionally large amount of pictures. You're welcome. Pastaria, my home away from home. It seems that I'm there every 2-3 weeks, though if I had my way, I'd be there even more.
We headed over for an early dinner on Saturday thinking we'd beat the crowd. Wrong! We checked in using the No-Wait app and by the time we got to the restaurant still had about 10 minutes of waiting. As we stood around, one of the waiters came up and gave us a small plate of garlic knots and marinara sauce. Fantastic. Off to a great start.
If you read my first Pastaria review, you know that I am in love with their food. That did not change with this visit. In fact, I actually like it EVEN MORE than before. It's not just love--it's lust. The romance is still there. Not only was the food great, but we were seated at the bar facing into the kitchen, giving us the opportunity to speak to Chef Michael Petres and manager (?) Stephanie. Somehow they were able to talk to us while still managing to keep getting orders in and out. I don't know how you two did it, but it was great to watch. And they were funny!
Watching the chefs work was fun and humbling. Amazing looking--and smelling--dishes were coming out at lightning speeds.
We started with the same Shaved Kale salad ($6.95/11.95) as last time. It's still great. Kale, breadcrumbs, pecorino cheese and a scrumptious anchovy dressing. That's it. But damn is it good.
We followed that up with the Salume Beddu Nduja pizza ($13.95). A light tomato base, fior de latte (creamy mozzarella), garlic, oregano and honey. Incredible. The mix of spicy and sweet is unexpected but completely welcomed. I thought that maybe they used Mike's Hot Honey, but they use a local honey, plus the locally made Salume Beddu sausage. Everything I said last time about the dough still stands. It's slightly salty, slightly charred and totally great. The spicy sausage had a deep meaty taste with a nice crunch on top.
This pizza is a good example of restraint creating a better dish. If I made this pizza, it would have been covered in the cheese and sausage. That's why I'm not behind the counter.
I've now had four pizzas at Pastaria. Their rankings for me stand as:
Salume Beddu Nduja
The Holmes (tomato, mozzarella, mushroom, prosciutto, oregano, Grana Padano)
The Roman(tomato, garlic, bacon, mozzarella, pecorino, chili)
Margherita(tomato, mozzarella, basil)
We closed out the meal with the Cannoli ($6.95) accompanied with strawberry balsamic and salted pistachios. Another good decision.
We also picked up a pint of Buttermilk Ginger Cookie Gelato ($10.00, I believe) for midnight snacks at home.
Because we were sitting at the pass, food was passing by us constantly. Below you'll find a collection of all the other delicious treats Pastaria is putting out.