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What are good pasta joints in Chapel Hill?

I love pasta (heck, who doesn't), and my favorite is garlic & olive oli (Aglio e Olio, I recently learned). But it's been quite of challenge to find an Italian restaurant in Chapel Hill that serves this dish (I am pretty sure that's because I only go limited number of places, though).

411 is the Italian restaurant I've been most frequently been to in Chapel Hill, not because I am in love with them (I like them though), but because I cannot think of any other good Italian restaurant to try. I am just brave enough to challenge the new place (also the price factor).

I tried couple of 411's pasta on their lunch menu, and their alright. I like their lasagna, but they don't serve any garlic & olive oil pasta?

Can anyone recommend me the place in Chapel Hill that serves good garlic & olive oil pasta? Or any pasta place that can top 411 (especially for lunch)?

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  1. You might want to try Panzanella (technically in Carrboro, but pretty close to CH). While I havent' seen garlic and olive oil on their menu (*might* be on the kids menu) I can't imagine they wouldn't make some up for you if you asked nicely. When we travel I often ask for this made up for my daughter, and have never had a place say no. It is a very easy dish to make.

    1. I can't attest to the quality since I haven't eaten this dish myself there, but Carmine's in the Eastgate shopping center in Chapel Hill has it on their 'create your own' pasta menu. You choose the type of pasta and what you want it dressed with - garlic and olive oil is one of the choices. It's on the dinner menu for $7.95. Don't know if they'd make it for lunch, but you could always ask.

      1. Carmine's in Eastgate shopping center has pasta w garlic and olive oil.

        If you get to Durham, I think you may also find it or be able to request it at Pulcinella's in Woodcroft shopping center and at Piazza Italia in Brightleaf Square.

        1. I second the Panzanella rec. But I must say, why would one drop $8 or more on this dish when it's so cheap and easy to make at home? Maybe if they used handmade pasta, but otherwise...no way.

          3 Replies
          1. re: bbqme

            Yep, go to Southern Season, get some good pasta (I like Cipriani), some good olive oil, a wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano, and minced garlic in the little glass container (if they don't have it, Whole Foods next door will). It will take you about ten minutes to make and you'll be able to eat it to your heart's content. It might even be better than what you can find elsewhere.

            1. re: dinersaurus

              Whole Foods isn't next door to A Southern Season... there's a Harris Teeter behind University Mall.

              1. re: kizil

                Apologies, was using the term loosely. In my mind it's just a stone's throw away, but it is actually about 1500 feet away as the crow flies but in a different shopping center. I get the two shopping areas off Franklin confused.

          2. for good, cheap pasta I've gone to Pizza and Pasta on franklin street.

            1. Yeah decent pasta in Chapel Hill is a hard thing to come by. I've not been to 411, but have been to 518 West in Raleigh. The dishes are alright but most are pretty bland. I've eaten at Trilussa and though I was eating tomato soup. The decor is fun but the food was horrible in my experience. Franklin St. Pizza and Pasta DOES list past with Garlic and Oil on their menu. Good or not is not something I can answer.

              Here is a Carmine's

              http://www.allmenus.com/nc/chapel-hil...

              1 Reply
              1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                Panciutto ((pot belly in Italians) in neighboring Hillsborough is excellent. Carmine's is very good-- family is from the Abruzzi. Vespa downtown on Franklin Street has great pasta. Il Palio at the Siena hotel is wonderful. Carolina Crossroads at Carolina Inn is not billed as Italian but has fabulous Italian dishes on the menu. Across I-40 on the 54 bypass there is a good restaurant in Durham, 1/2 mile from the Chapel Hill line called Pulcinella's which means "Mask."