Got around to trying this place that has been open since June.
In a renovated storefront right downtown, Pasta'z is a family owned/run small resto (8-10 tables plus counter seats) that strives to offer authentic "North End, Boston" style Italian dishes. Chef Tony Genovese cooks with love from his grandma's recipes.
The menu offers classic pasta dishes (e.g.lasagne, shrimp diablo) with a few daily specials (e.g. chicken marsala). Surprisingly, no appetizers were offered. A house salad was offered and garlic bread comes w/ each entree. Prices seemed very reasonable (entrees up to $13) w/ generous portions (served in saute pans direct to table).
We tried two specials, ziti w/ broccoli rabe and linguine w/ mussels. Both were very good. Pasta was cooked *perfectly* and everything was fresh and flavorful; delicious.
Wines (mostly Italian if I recall correctly) are offered by glass ($5-7) or bottle ($20s). I believe there is also a full bar.
Do not miss the homemade desserts (by Tony's wife, Roxane). We shared a ricotta cheesecake w/ raspberries that was excellent.
Service seemed unintentionally rushed, but competent. For example, the server was reciting the specials before I was in my seat. But it is about being so anxious to share the food w/ you.
They are open for dinner only right now, 4:30 to I think 9:30.
Tony and Roxane have put a lot of love into this place and are offering something that is otherwise hard (i.e. impossible) to find in this area. Bring the family or make it a romantic date night but try this new spot for real Italian at a reasonable price.
304 Water St, Gardiner