705 North1st St Suite #110
Phoenix, AZ 85004

"The best way to make a quality product is to infuse quality at every chance." This is PastaBAR's philosophy. PastaBAR specializes in using only high quality ingredients and freshly made pasta each and every day. They had me at freshly made pasta. Or did they???

Chef/Owner Wade Moises once worked at both Lupa and Babbo, part of Mario Batali's restaurant empire. After working at these restaurants, I assume that Wade Moises must have a pretty good idea how to cook Italian by now.

PastaBAR definitely has a casual vibe and a minimalistic approach to the design of the restaurant. Naked light bulbs hang from the ceiling. A huge wooden framed mirror, complementing the red wall, opens up the room.

Local Farm Vegetables - 10
We started off with a plate of local farm vegetables. On the plate was an enjoyable mix of squash, swiss chard with a grating of parmesan that was lightly dressed, and a mixture of bell pepper, onions, and eggplant?? I enjoyed the natural sweetness of the squash. The swiss chard was equally as good with the parmesan adding a nice element of saltiness to the swiss chard. I didn't care too much for the mixture of onions bell peppers and eggplant.

Desert Sweet Shrimp - 9
A very simple plating of shrimp that was very lightly seasoned to allow the natural flavors of the shrimp to shine. The flavors of the shrimp were fresh and clean, but I would have appreciated if there was more seasoning to take the shrimp to another level.

Bavette al Cedro - lemon, Italian butter, Parmigiano -11
This dish tasted just like the description. I tasted a lot of lemon, some butter, and a bit of parmigiano. The lemon on this dish overwhelmed the other flavors and I felt like there wasn't enough salt or parmigiano to counter the acidity of the lemon. The texture of the pasta was wonderful, but some flavors were muted while others were too prominent.

Fettuccini e Finocchio - fennel pesto, raisins, pine nuts, hot peppers, lemon, anchovy - 14
Reading the description of the dish, I thought there would be tons of flavor and when the dish was brought out by the server, I still had the same assumption. Looks can be deceiving. For me this dish had nice texture with the bread crumbs, pine nuts, raisins, and the texture of the pasta, but lacked the herby flavor associated with pesto and some good ole salt. This is my first time having a fennel pesto as opposed to a basil one. Maybe fennel pesto is a much more subdued pesto. Not sure, but didn't care for this dish much.

Orecchiette alla Puttanesca…12 ingredients from the Neapolitan streetwalker’s pantry - 15
A streetwalker's pantry? Is a streetwalker the same as a night walker? Someone paid for "services"? I guess that in Italy there are 12 ingredients that everyone of these people happen to have in their pantry. I don't remember what the 12 ingredients were but, here are a few that I can see from the picture and remember eating: breadcrumbs, pine nuts, olives, raisins, pasta, anchovy, and quite a few others. The 12 ingredient description had me intrigued. I thought this dish was one of the better dishes we had at PastaBAR. Nothing outstanding or something I am looking forward to eating again but good. I enjoyed the amalgam of flavors with sweetness of the raisins, saltiness of the olives, and the textural differences.

Gnocchi alla Lupa...sweet and spicy fennel sausage ragu - 15
The winner by far for the night was the gnocchi! PastaBAR's version is made with ricotta cheese as opposed to the potato version. These gnocchi were like canadian goose down pillowly light or like little pillows of clouds. The ragu perfectly complemented the gnocchi with the slightly sweet and slightly spicy flavors of the tomato sauce. 


"The best way to make a quality product is to Infuse quality at every chance." I do believe this statement to be true for 100% of things in the world we live in. Does this always translate to a wonderful product or experience? Not, in our experience of PastaBAR. Although there were a few good dishes we enjoyed most were just just average.

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