I have been to Il Pastaio quite a few times and every time I went in a grumpy and annoyed mood mostly after work and I left a very happy person. That is how magical this little place is to me.
The location of Il Pastaio is by no means, a prime one — a pretty bad spot quite frankly. How can you expect to sell when you are out of peoples’ sight most of the time and stand right next to a giant grocery store, some laundromat, some fro-yo place, etc. all by a big gas station and absolutely nowhere near downtown Boulder?
But, on a Wednesday night, they will be booked up to 8:30pm and I had to make a reservation right before they close. Even when I remember to make a reservation for 7pm in advance, we still end up waiting for our seats for a good 20 min. That is how busy they are, which is incredible given their location.
They do not feature anything “fancy”, no buzz words like “farm to table”, “organic”, “non-GMO”. For how much they charge, my guess is it is probably not going to be packed with expensive, full-on organic ingredients. But, a good chef knows how to make most mundane ingredients just fabulously delicious and Il Pastaio has some great Italian cooking going. Plus, they make all the pastas in the house, making it taste all the better! I like organic food, don’t get me wrong. But in general, I just like food, GOOD FOOD, food that is made with care and love, no matter it is organic or not. I would take a well-prepared dish made without organic ingredients any day over any plain organic salad that speaks no character of the chef whatsoever. Saying that, I would eat at Il Pastaio whenever I can. 🙂
The most recent trip I had was like before, a fantastic one! For appetizer, we had their calamari salad. Not your usual fried calamari smothered in the batter. Very refresh and light.
Husband had their gnocchi, which he really liked but deeply regretted that he did not order what I had. And I had their special of the night, a seafood stew, with a gracious portion of scallops, shrimps, calamari, mussels and some white fish meats. It was SOOOOOOOOOOOO good, oh my gosh, talking about some orgasmic, onolicious flavor!!! I remember last time I had their “Tilapia Mare Chiaro”, which totally blew me away! The guy knows how to cook seafood man!
We had their tiramisu for dessert and enjoyed it tremendously as well. Their flan is also quite stellar from my past memory.
During the meal, the owner/chef came over to greet us and we shared a little conversation about cooking and Italian food. The owner/chef grew up in Pisa and is deeply in love with the cuisine as anyone can tell. We had a blast that night. 🙂 Cannot wait to go back again or just go buy some of their house-made pasta products!
Thanks for checking in!