7734 forsyth boulevard
clayton, mo 63105
having had plenty of time to look the menu over prior to our seating, it did not take long for us to make our selections. arriving so quickly that my first instinct was that the runner had the wrong table was our order of risotto balls and a margherita pizza. served with a pomodoro sauce along with a bright and tangy herb aioli, these were essentially arancini. crispy and cheesy as expected, these went very quickly.
as for the pizza, we opted to try a standard margherita as i figured going simple would be the best way to truly judge the pie. the pizza is sort of like a neapolitan style with a chewy yet a slighly charred crust, but lacks a wet center which i believe is a requirement to truly be considered neapolitan. this was ok with me however, as the slices were not droopy making for an easy eating expeirence. the toppings were excellent with the prevalent notes of basil shining through the tangy sauce and mild cheese. overall an excellent pizza that ranks highly amongst others in st. louis.
bread service followed the pizza and consisted of a single slice of focaccia for each diner. to go with the bread was a standard olive oil offering along with a spicy chili version.
for my pasta, i knew the moment i saw pappardelle with smoked pork shank, apples, and mascarpone that i had found my selection. while the pasta itself was well executed and quite tasty, the smoked pork was a true showstopper, possessing an unexpected sweetness (along with smoky savor) that took this dish from very good to absolutely incredible.
for carrie choosing a pasta was also very easy as she selected the pistachio ravioli without hesitation. we had both had a rendition of this dish at niche years ago, and pastaria's take did great justice to that fond memory.
to go with our pastas, the family shared a bowl of brussel sprouts which were excellent.
to end the meal, a variety of gelato was ordered including chocolate, pistachio, basil, and salted caramel. i can't stress this point enough...if you go to pastaria, you MUST try the gelato as all four flavor we ordered were stunning in both texture and flavor. if pressed to pick a favorite, it would probably have to be the basil. what made this so amazing was that while it was remarkably accurate in flavor it was not overpowering whatsoever. on the way out i also sampled the goat cheese offering and will definitely be ordering an entire serving next time around.
if it wasn't made obvious in the borderline gushing paragraphs above, i feel that pastaria is a huge success. everybody at our table loved all of the food and i really couldn't believe how well the restaurant was running after only being open for a few days. aside from the long wait (which was to be expected given our arrival time and the hype around the restaurant), everything went very smoothly with no issues with service or food timing or temperature. i will also note here that the pricing at pastaria is extremely reasonable, and give the location and chef craft's reputation he could easily be charging more. with lunch service on the horizon and the ability to order gelato to go at any time, pastaria might just become carrie and i's most visited restaurant in st. louis.