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Looking for poor-man's Italian/pasta restaurant in Durham/Chapel Hill

mikeh Aug 18, 2006 08:14 PM

Don't feel like spending a wad of cash on Il Palio tonight. Is there any "blue collar Italian" style restaurants around this area that are inexpensive, decent, and have a sizeable selection of pasta dishes on their menu? I'm looking for more of the ravioli with tons of cream sauce dumped on it (as opposed to say fusilli with grilled chicken breast tossed with a light balsamic reduction, vegetables, and oregano). Think Buca de Beppo style.



  1. d
    dubedo Aug 31, 2006 02:00 AM

    There is also a reasonably priced, red-checked-tablecloth-type Italian place in Woodcroft shopping center that we have enjoyed - my boyfriend especially likes their enormous pasta portions. But it's fun and low-key, a casual, family kind of place, and they do take-out as well. I don't remember the name, but a quick Google search tells me it must be Pulcinella's.

    1 Reply
    1. re: dubedo
      steveindurham Aug 31, 2006 01:35 PM

      Never been to IP3 but the one on Guess Road in Durham has great pasta dishes - I like the Linguini with Clam Sauce, Baked Ziti, Spaghetti with butter or marinara sauce, Lasagna, and Stuffed Shells. They make a nice Antipasto salad as well as Veggie and Philly Steak Sub. You can't go wrong there.

    2. s
      steveindurham Aug 20, 2006 06:48 PM

      I agree with the choice of Italian Pizzeria. The one on Guess Road in Durham is excellent as well. They have great lunch specials as well.

      1 Reply
      1. re: steveindurham
        inmybackpages Aug 30, 2006 07:28 PM

        Any dinner recs for IP3? I usually go for the pizza special as a guilty pleasure but I'd be well up for something more varied.

      2. h
        HeelsSoxHound Aug 19, 2006 06:22 PM

        italian pizzeriaIII on franklin st does excellent pizza and pasta-y dishes. their pizza is as good as you'll find in chapel hill for authentic ny style... and their pastas have always beenn pretty good too.

        2 Replies
        1. re: HeelsSoxHound
          detlefchef Aug 19, 2006 06:43 PM

          Now there's a committed (obsessed?) hound. Posting on his wedding day. Good luck today, Mike.

          1. re: detlefchef
            HeelsSoxHound Aug 21, 2006 03:42 PM

            had to do something to take off the jitters while elise was getting her hair done... everything was great-- best cue i've had in awhile. elaine's should do a q shack of their own... so so so good. peace out... will report on charleston upon my return!

        2. c
          chops Aug 19, 2006 04:18 PM

          The best red sauce place I know in the area is "Bella Monica" in Raleigh. It's close to 40 at Edwards Mill & Blue Ridge. Great Flatbread pizza and about the friendliest place I know. Go on weekends for some more adventurous options.

          1 Reply
          1. re: chops
            emazzone Aug 22, 2006 01:27 PM

            I agree with the Bella Monica endorsement. The pasta is very good. The flatbreads are often excellent, too, but not what I would call "blue collar Italian". I'm not crazy about Bella Napoli -- I live close to it, and would like to like it, but I found more than the desserts and bread lacking. That said, I am Italian and from NY, by way of Boston, so I am a bit finicky about Italian food not prepared by my parents. :)

          2. s
            Sinophile Aug 19, 2006 03:01 PM

            The restaurant you are looking for is Bella Napoli in Cary. The bread and the desserts are pretty lame, but everything else is reminiscent of a Boston/New York neighborhood eatery. The mozzarella is homemade; the calamari is crispy; the pasta is always properly al dente. I recommend the eggplant rollatini.

            Sinophile (formerly David A.)

            1. c
              chimchim Aug 18, 2006 09:35 PM

              LOL... Bowl of cheese at the Rat!

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