Nepali Times
Review
Pasta Vostro

SOMEPLACE ELSE by MARCO POLLO


PICS: MARCO POLO
Bowtie, elbow, fusilli, gnocchi, lumache, penne, tagliatelle, tripolini or spaghetti: Pasta Vostro, the four-month-old trattoria in Thamel, allows you to customise your own bowl of the boiled carb.

Dine-in or out at only Rs 188 for choice of pasta and sauce and toppings for Rs 18 each, the fast-fresh-food venture sounds good especially when pitted against high-end Italian establishments in the district. But for all tastes and appearances, a few kinks need kneading.

Pasta options are package purchased (not homemade), and though varied, lack the usual suspects like linguine, angel hair (ideal for pesto) or fettuccine—the flat friend of more creamy, robust sauces.

Shapes aside, a pasta made well is a pasta that you can chew and taste. Among those we sampled, the pastas were well-cooked and al dente and would likely pass Martha Stewart's test for a chewable pasta: take a sliver of pasta from the boiling pot, preferably with a fork to keep your fingers intact, then flick the pasta against a wall. If it sticks, it's al dente and ready to strain. (Try this at home and not at Pasta Vostro nor at any other restaurant for that matter).

Sauces and toppings at Pasta Vostro were rich and generous but overwhelming. The four cheese (gouda, yak, mozzarella, parmesan) sauce was, indeed, cheesy, but the flavour of the pasta, hardly traceable. The sampled spaghetti swimming in a savoury yet soupy carbonara was supposedly carrot-based.

Ultimately, the highlight of the review was not a pasta but an appetiser: the bacon wrapped sausages, a carnivore's treat served with sweet mustard. Skip the garlic bread.

The space at Pasta Vostro is limited but loud. The walls of the narrow, L-shaped corridor, from entrance to dining area to open-air kitchen and cash counter, are painted in hazard orange and sporadically stenciled black with artful pasta silhouettes; while larger-than-life, macro shots enshrine the Italian staple and face a line of urn-like casings of pastas in its different forms.

Momos, advertised for Rs 70 during the time of the review, don't bode well for a purveyor of pastas.

Situated along the zigzag, Mandala Street in Thamel, below OR2K's new location



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LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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