Portland >Pastini Pastaria
Great food for a great price. We love Pastini's! You can get a great meal plus appetizers for two for under $30. Our favorite is the Rigatoni Bolongese and the Ensalade Verde. The service is usually fast, food is hot and fresh. They have great desserts too.
They live up to their name - authentic Italian bistro!.
My husband and I tried the downtown Pastini?s for the first time last night and we were quite impressed. We prefer to support local restaurants and don?t particularly care for the chains. Come to find out, Pastini is locally owned & features bread from the Pearl Bakery! (And they even have a Pastini MySpace page).
Their menu & wine list were extensive. I tried the baked ziti with sausage and my husband had the spaghetti & meatballs, along with some Chianti. Yum! Both dishes had sauces that were rich & flavorful and the meatballs were nearly the size of baseballs. They do live up to their name ? authentic Italian bistro.
They aren't even trying. I'm not an Italian cuisine snob, but I know what is good Italian and when they aren't even trying. We tried this place out a few weeks ago and were not impressed with the sauces or the service. We decided to give it another chance this week thinking it might have been a fluke. This time I asked for a suggestion of a great dish with rich creamy sauce. The waitress had no suggestions. I went ahead and ordered a chicken pasta dish that was described to have a creamy Alfredo sauce with sun dried tomatoes. The chicken was processed cubed chicken, there was so little sauce that I asked the waitress if they had forgotten to put it on. She said, " oh no it's there." I then asked for a side of a little Alfredo sauce. I was brought a small watery cup of scorched milk. No apologies, no discount. The other 3 folks with us had similarly awful dishes. None of us were able to gag down even half our entree's. Why is this place often packed with customers? We will not return.
They don't skimp on the scampi :). It was hard at first to decide on a Recommended rating for Pastini. Then I realized I would only be docking them points because they're a chain restaurant, a tireless machine of pasta slinging bliss. Yet, they accomplish their mission with deft organization, varied dishes, and most of all low prices. My wife got a shrimp dish and I ordered the Spaghetti Carbonara. The latter of which is a white sauce with peas, peppers, and bacon. This is where their value is, even though it was between 8 and 9 dollars for each of our plates they were hearty portions. Not just a plate full of pasta, I had a succulent mound of bacon with my creamy noodles. I ate every last bite so completely that the dish washer must have been beside himself pondering whether or not the plate had been used. The only fault on Pastini's part tonight was being a chain, they do seem to cater to the standard American palate. Entrees and salads are flavorful but devoid of any kind of spice. Caesar salad was lacking in any evident garlic or sardine aroma, and my pasta which boasted of pepper on the menu was sublime in heat. I'm a Thai food enthusiast by nature and love some soulful spice. The waitress was kind enough to bring me some crushed red pepper when queried and our food was relished. The value continues when you take a peak at the wine list. They have one of my favorites in the Cascina Castl'e --- a bottle that retails between 16-20 plus at your favorite grocery store, for a 23 dollars on the menu. Glasses range anywhere from a meager 5-6.5 and they usually do a pretty deep pour. Even with a packed house, we received a 10 minute wait. We'll definitely be going back, it's somewhere ahead of Olive Garden and Romano's--- yet not quite as polished as some of the "real" Italian food in town like Nostrana or Gino's. Then again, you're probably looking for Italian inspired on the cheap, and it doesn't get any better than this.
time to try other Italian restaurants. Been here at least half a dozen times. Today we ordered spaghetti and meatballs substituting bolognese sauce for marinara. Spaghetti & Meatballs on menu is 7.95. We were charged 9.75 for the substitution and got 1 meatball less than the menu item. If we'd ordered the bucatini with Italian sausage, 2 meatballs and bolognese sauce we'd of paid 9.75. Okay, so they don't know how to price changes. When we spoke to the head waiter, he was insistent on explaining his restaurant's policy, right down to how they measure the sauces for each dish. Bottom line, he was more invested in explaining his restaurant's policy than making us comfortable as diners: "If you want, we can make an adjustment." How about, "Let me make this adjustment for you." Difference between a return visit and a flaming review.
Great Food, Great Service, and a Great Value - We Love it!!.
My wife and I love going to Pastini. We are somewhat food snobs because we dine out for lunch and dinners multiple times a week. That said, we love the food at Pastini. I have eaten nearly every dish on the menu and have always found it to be delicious. Their ingredients are fresh and their preparation is perfect.
In addition to the quality food, the service is top notch and always friendly. They really strive to go beyond your expectations. As for the prices, you cannot beat them. Where else can you and a spouse have a nice, classy meal, and a few glasses of wine for less than $30? That's less expensive than groceries!!
We absolutely love it and highly recommend it to all our friends!
Excellent service, delicious food and lively atmosphere. I had a fabulous experience at Pastini last night. They were busy, but the server efficiently took our order and our food came out so fast we were astounded. I?m used to paying twice as much for less quality at other restaurants.
Just what I was looking for. I was craving pasta and Pastini delivered. The waitress was friendly and attentive even after a group of 8 came in after my friend and I. I had a delicious linguine with red pepper cream sauce and chicken. My friend enjoyed his baked ziti also. I found everything to be tasty, especially the bread, and the service was good. (The price was right also.)
overcooked, overpriced, over it. As the mother of two young children, I so wanted to like this local place. I've tried it 3 seperate times, but I refuse to lower my standards this much. Pasta is consistently overcooked. Sauces are watery and minimalist, with almost no flavor. Pasta with tomato and fresh basil seemed to have 2 tablespoons of flavorless chopped tomato and one slivered basil leaf on it, oh, and a puddle of water at the bottom of the bowl. The prices, while "low", are still ridiculously high for what is set before you. All the dishes lack evidence of quality ingredients (where is the fruity aroma of olive oil? the richness of reduced red wine? the snap of fresh lemon? the complexity of sauteed garlic or carmelized onion?), Heaping grated cheese over everything that exits the kitchen (even the linuini with white clam sauce!) does not mask the fact that the emperor has no clothes. Pass this place by, go home and cook a package of Ronzoni to a proper al dente texture, and serve it with pantry sauce- right out of the jar, and you will have a better meal!
Not Good. Our dining experience was very disappointing. The food was bland and the meat in the meat sauce was extremely dry. Cesear salad was weak as well. The highlight of our meal was the beer and the bread,and according to the menu the bread actually came from the Pearl Bakery. I am amazed at the postive reviews this place has received on this site.
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