Review: Pastini Pastaria

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Pastini Pastaria
(Six locations in the Portland area)
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[rating: 3.5]

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Pastini Pastaria is pretty much my go-to spot for any sort of family or friend function that entails a large group going out to a restaurant. Sure, some people might consider it Portland’s local version of Olive Garden, but the food is consistently good (even if it is a little on the bland side) and there is something on the menu for everyone-even those picky eaters and vegetarians.

What I love about Pastini is that they offer an excellent variety of pasta, from capellini to ziti and everything in between! They even offer whole wheat pasta, which is typically what I order. They have just about every combination of delectable pasta dishes, from the simple spaghetti agli e olio (the classic with sautéed garlic, olive oil, basil and parmesan) to the more decedent baked manicotti (filled with beef, pork, ricotta and spinach, then baked with alfredo sauce and marinara). All pasta dishes are served with the equally delicious ciabatta bread from Pearl Bakery.

Pasta obviously dominates the menu, but the salads and sandwiches are worth trying as well. Just thinking about their Caprese salad makes my mouth water and on my last visit I devoured my open-faced baked artichoke and shrimp sandwich with delight.

The menu is large and I tend to try new things each time I visit and I have never been disappointed.

Each of the Pastini restaurants I have been to were all very pleasant, which is part of the reason it is a reliable place to take family or friends for a nice (and not too expensive) meal out. The service has always been outstanding and the waitstaff have been extremely helpful if there were any questions about the menu. The prices are good and the food comes in hearty, but not overwhelming, portions.  

The wine list also stands out because the prices are so reasonable. None of the bottles are over $30, that’s pretty hard to find around town these days.

Pastini is a great place to take a group to celebrate a special occasion or just have a nice casual Italian lunch. One thing to note is that this is a family-friendly restaurant. So you should expect a more suburban chain restaurant feel to the restaurants.

Pros: Great place to take a group, good prices (especially the wine list), multiple locations

Cons: Feels like a chain restaurant

Visit Pastini Pastaria’s menu

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