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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Pasta's Trattoria: A good idea!

Lunch date #17, Sunday June 3, 2012

We had arranged to get together on a Sunday that week as the week days didn't work out. After discussing various options, and then a miscommunication, Mom ended up getting us a table at Pasta's Trattoria, 540 Main Street (www.pastastrattoria.com/). I wasn't unhappy with the mistake, but had two complaints: 1) we had both been there for lunch before—but Mom did point out that we hadn't evaluated it; and 2) they have bottomless mimosas on Sundays, but since I had to go right into my office after lunch, no mimosas for me! Mom was driving herself this time, so no mimosas for her either!

Location 5 points: Another perfectly located restaurant in the middle of restaurant row.

Ambiance 4 points: A lovely selection of seating both inside and out. I thought that décor was nice-cute lights and bar area. Mom thought the bar area was too small. I liked that you can see the kitchen area and thought the copper dividing wall was a nice touch. That day the outdoor tables were full, but we did score a nice window-side table. We both felt the white linen tablecloths added a nice, upscale touch.

Menu 4 points: Actually a very good lunch selection. Several choices within each category of insalata, panini, pizza and pasta dishes. Mom zero'd in on the Main Street Burger—oh no, I thought—she'd reverted to her old habits—that is two weeks in a row! But, she was so excited about the selection (and since I was late to arrive and had kept her waiting a bit), I didn't say a word. I went with the BLTA.

Service 3 points: It was going so well, our server took our order quickly and we were served pretty fast also…but then it all fell apart. Mom wanted some pepper to sprinkle on her tomatoes and we could not get the servers attention. I had drained my iced tea and wanted either a refill or water and we could not get anyone to come to us. I finally caught the attention of the hostess and she was able to bring us refills on the drinks and salt/pepper. I think the server was over extended: he also had some outdoor tables, but he never came back around to us until we were quite finished eating. Kind of frustrating for us.

Pasta's BLTA sandwich and yummy fries
Mom's Main Street Burger
Food 5 points: Wow, not sure we have awarded full points in this category before—or only very rarely. The food was actually quite good! Mom was quite pleased with her Main Street Burger-tasty caramelized onions and served on a ciabata roll that was soft and easy to eat. The fries were thin, crispy—and served warm! My BLTA was outstanding—just the right blend of everything with plenty of avocado, thick bacon that was not fatty, and a delicious aioli dressing. Even the iced-tea was very good-perhaps a passion fruit blend, but not too sweet.

Value 5 points: We were quite impressed with the prices: each of our meals were $10…definitely a good deal considering the other restaurants in the downtown area serving food of far less quality for at least that price (Dean's) or even more (Fontina's). Also, a very reasonable price for the drinks at $2.25 (less than Dean's). I was actually surprised to see the prices for the lunch choices—really a great deal!

Overall score for Pasta's Trattoria: 4.3 points. Definitely one of the best lunches we have had—at an amazingly good value, in a nice environment. If only the service had been better—and I think that usually it is…we perhaps caught a bad day in that regard. We would both highly recommend Pasta's as an excellent choice for lunch and plan to go back--we could always do a repeat evaluation and test their consistency…maybe that will be our next project!

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