by Melissa Kravitz
|Pastai! –photo via Pastai|
eateries have been all the rage in Manhattan for years. Hot NYC dining spots featuring risotto, macaroni and
cheese, rice pudding, ramen, and macarons have all made the top of my
list. Some of these niche-specific
restaurants aren’t as flexible as we would like them to be: What does the vegan
friend do at Murray’s Cheese? The
lactose intolerant at MacBar? The gluten
free at Ippudo? Enter Pastai: a new
contemporary, casual pasta bar with pastas in all shapes and flavors, made fresh daily with locally sourced, organic ingredients.
pasta bar serves creative dishes in a funky Chelsea environment
perfect for an affordable night out or a gourmet late night snack. Glasses from the extensive wine list start at just $8, and with moderately priced appetizers and entrees,
it’s easy to enjoy a classy yet satisfying meal at Pastai without draining your
weekly going-out budget.
|Wine at Pastai starts at just $8 per glass–photo via Pastai|
The quaint yet chic space buzzes with after-work locals on
weeknights and trendy Chelsea diners appear on weekends, ready to indulge in
Chef Melissa’s creations. Innovative bar snack-inspired appetizers, like the
Olive Fritte ($8), fried breaded castelvetrano olives stuffed with pecorino
cheese quickly melt in your mouth in a glorious combination of gooey, crispy
deliciousness. Other standout appetizers
include the Pasta Fasul ($8), broken spaghetti pasta simmered with white beans,
celery and garlic in a tomato broth, creating a savory pasta and vegetable
infused stew, and the aranici stuffed with fontina and vegetable ragu ($12),
crispy, creamy, with the delusion of healthiness oozing out with the rich
|Freshly made pasta–-photo via Pastai|
practically begging through the menu to be shared around the table. Versatile
vegetarian options like beet ravioli or hollow spaghetti with cauliflower are nice
changes from the oftentimes limited veggie options in traditional Italian cuisine.
Meat-eaters can enjoy caramelized onion and beef ragu, homemade chicken sausage,
and a daily lasagna option. Pastai is the kind of place where you’ll quickly
find a favorite dish (mine is the grated pasta with tomato sauce and housemade
ricotta), peruse the tantalizing menu upon your return, but be ever so tempted
to return to the dish that brought you back in the first place.
make all shapes of noodles – stands out in the back of Pastai’s open kitchen,
reminding you just how fresh the foods gracing your plate truly are.
|You can purchase artisan pasta to take home. –photo via Pastai|
the restaurant from 7 am-5 pm, daily.
W. 22nd) and open Monday to Thursday 7 am-2 am, Friday 7 am-3 am, Saturday 10 am-3 am, Sunday 10 am-1 am. Brunch served Saturday and Sunday.
|Pastai is located in the Chelsea neighborhood on 9th Avenue–-photo via Pastai|