Pasta Eater: It’s Well Worth Your While To Check Out Flat Iron’s Cozy, Quaint, Authentic & Fun New Eatery!

It is hard to resist Pasta Eater which was just opened on 9/12/19 by Giusto Priola, the owner of the legendary Cacio E Vino. This cozy Italian eatery on the border of the Flat Iron District and Union Square has passers by staring in its front window at all hours thanks to the live pasta maker doing their thing in clear view. I had a blast watching them make linguine when I visited; I was so entertained that I almost did not want to go to the back of the dimly dit dining room and take my seat!Chef Luigi Cetrulo is from Foggia in the Apulia region of Italy; he creates two dozen classic pastas any given night of the week but he’s got a solid dozen obscure ones to impress his dining crowd with as well. Some of these you can not get anywhere else in New York including an obscure burnt buckwheat pasta native to his home region. The most famous dish at Pasta Eater is the flashy Tonnarelli Cacio E Pepe which is tonnarelli pasta served in a Pecorino cheese wheel. It’s creamy and rich and created tableside. It’s a fun process to watch but it’s much more fun to eat; it’s rich and satisfying.The pasta dishes at Pasta Eater are super filling and very well priced with about $16 per item. Most people do not need more food to fill up, but that being said, they have a phenomenal antipasto that is officially called Tagliere Italian on the menu. You can pick out three cold cheese and meat items for $18 or 5 for $27 and portions are generous. The handmade Buratta was my favorite pick followed by Prosciutto Crudo but it is all fresh and delightful. As you can see from the photo above, the platter of five can easily be a satisfying appetizer for three people.The eggplant parmigiana is a remarkable hot appetizer that is truly a meal in itself. It is teaming with fresh mozzarella and extra thin slices of tender locally grown eggplant but the great variety of fresh herbs impressed me the most. The homemade red cause is just perfect here. I would love to try it on a pasta during my next visit even though this is not a “red sauce” type of place–each pasta dish has a unique sauce that ranges from simple olive oil, garlic and large fresh plum tomato chunks to classic Alfredo style sauces. I know for a fact that the lasagna has classic red sauce on it so I will be trying that next time for sure.Speaking of simple sauces, the Mafaldine Al Funghi Porcini features Mafaldine pasta (which has curly edges) with porcini mushrooms and cherry tomatoes in a simple garlic and EVOO brown sauce. The pasta is so tender and flavorful you could almost get away with just veggies and no sauce at all. Definitely try this unique dish if you ever come here! This pasta quickly fills you up so two people can share one portion.There are truly unique desserts at Pasta Eater and they are not necessarily Italian. The most popular one to date is the matcha green tea come brûlée which is super creamy and satisfying. The green tea provides a subtle sweet kick of flavor. Desserts vary night to night.The semifreddo features a creamy soft nougat, Nutella and a dusting of pistachios–this is another great dessert to share as it is a large portion and has quite an addictive flavor. You might start daydreaming about this dessert on a regular basis shortly after you try it!There are unique Italian bottle sodas you cannot get anywhere else in town as well. These are pretty unforgettable and highly refreshing. Definitely try the Chinotto or Aranciata! Pasta Eater does not have a liquor license yet, by the way–but should have one in place soon. Check out this memorable and affordable eatery’s official website www.pasta-eater.com for more on their unique menu and authentic back story. Pasta Eater is located at 9 East 17th Street between Broadway and Fifth Avenue; reservations are not necessary but recommended since they are doing a very bustling business. They have already been reviewed by The New York Times section and are the “new kid on the block” outshining everyone else in the neighborhood!

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