Restaurant Review: La Pasteria in Summit, NJ

Today after work, I had to drop of some art at the Visual Arts Center of NJ in Summit. With the nice warm evening and really nothing else to do, I decided to stroll through Summit. I had been there a while ago, but I never really took the time to explore the shops and restaurants.

And there are quite a few restaurants that serve unusual cuisines or have innovative concepts on more common cuisines. I need to come back as there are several worth exploring. However, interestingly enough, there are not that many places in Summit that have outside seating which is a pity. I believe Summit could create an ambiance and style similar to Westfield during the summer months with a lot of activity in the street.

One restaurant that had a nice inviting side walk patio is "La Pasteria". Originally, I was a little hesitant, because on the first glance it looked like a typical Italian standards restaurant. But when I looked at the menu I was convinced and had to have dinner there.

La Pasteria is a bit different. Although it has some of the standard Italian dishes on the menu, most of the items are innovative, creative new creations that you rarely find or that I never heard of before at all, like Risotto Balls. I certainly prefer the interesting, the unknown and unusual to explore over the well known and established, in particular when it comes to food.

So I needed to have the Risotto balls. What you get is a fairly well made vegetable and proscuitto type risotto that is maybe a little bit more gluey than risotto you would normal get on a plate formed into a spherical shape and topped with a pretty tasty marinara sauce. You get two tennis ball sized balls. This is a great appetizer to share.

In addition to the already interesting regular menu they also have daily special which (at least that day) came across as even more creative. I forgot the actual name of what I had, but it was fusili pasta with a light brown sauce with a ragout of mushrooms, veal and pork. Sounds pretty unusual to begin with, but certainly is an interesting combination. The sauce was creamy but not at all heavy. The mushroom and the meat ragout combined to a full bodied, slightly pointed but comfortable taste. The texture of the sauce had a very good mouth feel and the taste remaind on palate for a while. Needless to say the pasta was perfectly al dente.

Remarkably also, you can order each pasta dish in three sizes: Bambino, Regola and Famiglia. I had the bambino, which is more than enough for one person if you are not really, really hungry or if you also have an appetizer. I took a third of it home. These are prized around $10 to $12 which is a really good deal. Regola (from what I sauce from other guests) is easily enough for two to share with appetizers (prized at $13 to $17). I haven't seen Famiglia, but priced at $25 to $35 it must feed a large family. Salads and entrees are also available in two sizes.

What I would like to do is a multi course pasta feast with a small group of friends and then order 5 or 6 bambino sized pasta dishes to share one at a time during the course of the evening. This would be great opportunity to enjoy the different flavors, textures and smells of the interesting pasta they have on their menu.

Service is friendly, attentive and mostly efficient. The bread you get is solid Italian type white bread. This is a BYOB place.

Signing Off - The Westfield Blogger

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

After visiting this establishment last nite in Summit--I was very let down-when I tried to make any change in the way my order was to be prepared, I was told"we can't do that"--Chicken couldnt be served Plain,without all the fattening preparation, and my vegetables couldn't be prepared steamed--(a child can make steamed veggies.)Only after talking to the owner did I find out they could---Our waitress didn't want to be bothered--If you have any kind of dietary restrictions---GO ELSEWHERE--I won't return--a most unpleasant experience.