Italian restaurant serves up homey dishes in welcoming setting
Il Pastaio is both surprisingly small and incredibly friendly – and it serves up homemade pasta in an authentic Italian setting.
Located in a nondescript location at the corner of 30th and Arapahoe (3075 Arapahoe Ave.), Il Pastaio serves lunch and dinner. The restaurant is a mix of takeout and fancy dining. This unconventional setting works well, creating a homey atmosphere, comfortable and welcoming.
For a group outing, Il Pastaio is not the place to go because most tables are only set up for four, but it is a great place for a small, intimate setting. My two dining companions and I were lucky to find one of the bigger tables. The restaurant is more ideal for two dining partners, as the cozy atmosphere creates good conversation. Authentic Italian could be heard from both the patrons and the staff.
The owner of the restaurant served us, providing friendly banter in our requests to explain the menu. Playfully teasing us because of our picky dining habits, he was very helpful in choosing the correct dishes for our tastes.
We first received rolls that were sweet and buttery. Resisting the temptation to ask for more bread, we saved room for the abundant food that was about to arrive.
After much debate, we decided on three different pasta dishes. The four-cheese ravioli contained a mix of feta, mozzarella, parmesan and ricotta cheese. Served in a combination of red and cream sauce, the dish was presented beautifully with about 12 ravioli smothered in the delicious sauce.
Pasta with Bolognese sauce also was a delicious choice. A well-spiced, meaty and thick tomato sauce accompanied the fresh pasta.
More choices faced us in deciding which type of fresh pasta we wanted with the sauce. The waiter spoke through the five choices quickly, but we settled on linguine and spaghetti.
I dined on spaghetti with tomato sauce and meatballs. The handmade pasta was al dente and well-flavored, providing a delicious base for the sauce and meatballs. The portion was large enough to take a considerable amount home with me for lunch the next day.
The entrees were affordably priced in the range of $8-$15. Wine served by the glass cost $5.
I will be returning to Il Pastaio to sample more Italian dishes from the varied menu. For the quality of food, the pleasant service and the reasonable prices, you cannot go wrong when choosing to dine at Il Pastaio.
Contact Campus Press staff writer Kathleen Straney at Kathleen.Straney@thecampuspress.com.
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