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$20 for a plate of pasta-would you expect the pasta to be fresh?

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just wondering if I'm out of line to expect fresh pasta from an Italian restaurant where the FOH and chef are all Italian.

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  1. I would. Then again, I'd never pay $20 for a bowl of noodles, but that's just me.

    1. Fresh as is homemade?

      No.

      Top notch in taste?

      Yes.

      3 Replies
      1. re: dolores

        Eh, I wouldn't have minded so much, except the pasta was just a little undercooked.

        My thinking is, as an Italian restaurant, you're going to have fresh pasta around. How hard is it to cut some linguine?

        1. re: jaykayen

          i'd rather have it undercooked than over... depending on the degree. nothing worse than having the noodles go mushy in your mouth, but crunchy isn't good either.

          1. re: jaykayen

            jaykayen, you just reminded me of one definition of a Midwesterner: someone who believes that "al dente" is an Italian phrase meaning "noodles ain't done yet".

            I've quit making plain Southern-style pasta just because there's so much really fine dried stuff available, and even supermarket De Ceccho is better than most of what I can make. I think it gains something from being dried and aged a bit.

        2. I've read quotes from some very good chefs who say that many of the best pastas are dried ones, so why bother making it fresh if you can't beat something you can buy.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Dan G

            I agree, I don't think fresh is superior enough to justify the time spent in making it.

            1. re: Chefsquire

              They're really entirely different products. In my mind, its not about one being superior. Fresh pastas will absorb more sauce or condiment than dried pastas, by and large. They'll also have, often, a different mouth feel. Different uses for different dishes depending upon what one wants.

          2. In my limited experience some types of Italian pasta are traditionally cooked from dry such as spaghetti, linguine, and other extruded shapes. Fresh pastas, in my experience, have egg in them and have a completely different feel and texture. What dish did you order and how was it described?

            1. I'd expect good quality pasta, fresh or dried, well cooked, and it had better be topped with something that doesn't leave me wondering if i could have made better at home. I might expect fresh gnocchi though. Pasta is still a relatively cheap item to purchase is it not, and if that price is going to be inflated to $20 to say, throw a few mushrooms on top..it had better be good.

              1. It comes down to the expense of the ingredients. Pasta fresh or dry isn't expensive. So I'd expect a dressing to be composed of something like truffles for $20.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Chinon00

                  Not here. $18.-20. is the norm in a fancy, schmancy Italian frou frou restaurant. But usually, emphasis on usually, the toppings are extraordinary. As has been said, they'd better be.

                  Of course, there are the wonderful red sauce places, where MACARONI with GRAVY isn't $18.-20.

                2. jfood has experienced great dry pasta dishes for $20 and horrible fresh pasta dishes for $20. The remaining two boxes in the 2x2 matrix is also true.

                  It's the overall dish that is important. Last week jfood had a wonderful fresh paparadelle with boar ragu for $19 while mrs jfood ate a dry pasta with seafood for $21, also outstanding.

                  So it depends on the topping as well as the pasta

                  1. I wouldn't expect fresh pasta. Whether its fresh or dried depends on the preparation/dish. I would expect it to be very good, though!

                    1. Not really. I'd just expect it to be pasta w/seafood--that's what usually hikes up the price of a plate of pasta around here.

                      1. I wouldn't necessarily expect the pasta to be fresh. But considering that you can buy a pound of pasta at the store for little more than $1, I would expect the ingredients to be top-notch and the dish to absolutely blow me away, particularly if the portion size is standard.