My friends and I had a delightful dinner at Pasta D'Arte last night. I had stumbled across it when searching for a place between where I was going to be last night and where my friends lived. What a nice find!
Our waiter was very helpful and guided us to a nice white wine for our meal. It was a Gavi. (sp?) I'd never heard of it. It was perfect. Light enough, but with some body. Not sweet, but not unbearably dry. It was a nice change from the ubiquitous Pinot Grigio.
We learned that many of the recipes have been in the family for decades. (Restaurants owned by various family members include Via Veneto, La Donna, Nonna Silvia's.) The chef here likes the flavors of the food to shine through and not be disguised by overpreparation. Hence, one of the specials: linguine with a light, chunky tomato sauce with lots of bay scallops. Sounded good to me, so that was my entree. One friend had the grilled tilapia over a bed of sauteed spinach with a lemon sauce. The other friend had the lobster ravioli. We didn't want to fill up too much so opted for bread, butter and olive oil instead of appetizers.
We all enjoyed the food. We agreed that the tilapia and the lobster ravioli were the best of the three. The tilapia was prepared quite well -- not overdone, but had a bit of a crusty edge from the grill or saute pan. The textures all worked together. The lobster ravioli was in a creamy sauce. I believe some crab was involved in the preparation. I do know that we were all dipping bread in the sauce. I was less enamored with the linguini special. I didn't find any flavor to be shining through, so ended up sprinkling some hot pepper flakes on my pasta. With my leftovers, I mixed in the remaining lobster ravioli sauce from my friend's plate. I'll find out how that tastes later.
We finished with a tiramisu, highly recommended by the waiter. At that point, we were full from dinner and on our second bottle of wine, so we found it to be just adequate.
Pasta D'Arte is small. The main dining room had maybe 10 tables, the back area by the bar had maybe 6 tables. We sat in the back garden which had about 10 tables. There was plenty of room at 8:30 on a Thursday, but reservations would be recommended on the weekend.
6311 N. Milwaukee
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