Pasta Connection in Newport
Went to this joint on Friday. I had been there maybe two or three times in my college days and remember it being good. I did warn my husband that when I was in college, I just ate anything on a plate that was hot and considered it "haute cuisine." So we decided to give it a try.
First of all, the sign says that it is "Italian and Argentinian cuisine." Granted, I was in college a few years ago and my memory can't be that bad. Did it recently change cuisines? I remember it being plain old Italian.
Second of all, my husband ordered the gaucho steak, recommened over the lasagne by the waitress. When he got it, it was a flat steak with some kind of tendon on it reminiscent of brisket. I tried a bite and it tasted like liver. I ordered the pesto fettucine and it was okay, but I could have done the same thing with dry pasta and a pack of Knorr seasoning from the market.
So...if anyone has been here (then and now), can you tell me if the place has changed ownership within the last 5-7 years, and if our dining experience was an unusual one?
Argentina's population is about half Italian and there are a few Italian/Argentinian restaurants around - although I have never been to Pasta Connection. There was one in the same area, until recently, called Carpi's, which we frequented regularly and enjoyed the Argentinian food especially.
I haven't eaten there in a few years, but it was always Italian/Argentinian cuisine. In fact, in 1987, one of my favorite things they had there were their empanadas with Chimichurri Sauce, and I'd usually get a plate of plain ole (homemade) pasta with olive oil and garlic for the main course.
Their wine selection was dominated by Argentinian wines, as was their dessert selection at the time. If it still has the picture of the boy with the bowl of Pasta over his head, that was the son of the owner in the '80s, so chances are that the ownership has not changed.
But if you're in that area, I'd recommend Taco Mesa as an inexpensive dining experience. It is arguably the best taco stand in Southern California.