Give yourself a break from keto for a day. October 25 is World Pasta Day, and more people should know about it and celebrate it. Because while it’s true that people may disagree on things like liver or cilantro or brussel sprouts, certain foods are universally loved, and pasta is one of them. This October 25, let yourself acknowledge that you love it, and let yourself enjoy it. Here are a few places in the city that do pasta not only right but exceptionally well.
649 Washington Street New York, NY 10014
This unassuming little spot in the West Village is worth the wait it will probably have on World Pasta Day. The pasta is homemade, the sauces are rich and flavorful, and the gnocchi is described as one of the best in the city. The wine list is straightforward and reasonably priced. Cozy and traditional, this old school Northern Italian restaurant will make you feel as if you’ve taken a trip to Italy. The romantic candlelit vibe is excellent for a date, but it’s also a good spot for people-watching at one of their outside tables. Be sure to bring cash, though – they don’t take cards. And, again, try the spinach gnocchi. It’s a worthy dinner option, even on World Pasta Day.
Flatiron: 200 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10010* Pictured above
Downtown: 101 Liberty Street Floor 3 New York, NY 10007
From the quaint, cash-only, traditional Italian restaurant, we arrive at the other end of the spectrum of Italian eateries to Eataly. These 40,000-square-foot marketplaces, with stores all over the world, including two in NYC, are your one-stop-shop for all foods Italian. Within the downtown Eataly, five restaurants, nine take-away counters, two caffès, and one wine bar have your every meal covered. Additionally, Eataly’s marketplace offers thousands of imported Italian products and local specialties. Their “culinary theater” features open kitchens where experts make everything from pasta to pastries right before your eyes. Lastly, their “food university” offers live demos and tastings around a dinner table. Eataly seeks to be direct and approachable and to provide a place for people to eat, shop, and learn about high-quality Italian food and drink. Benvenuto!
632 E. 187th Street Bronx, NY 10458
If it’s more your style to cook your own delicious meal for World Pasta Day, head to the Bronx for the pasta. Borgatti’s has been making outstanding pasta by hand since 1935. For three generations, the shop has been passed from father to son, and today owner Chris Borgatti still makes pasta the old school way, with his grandmother’s simple recipe. It may seem like a quaint shop – and it is – but the pasta is something truly special. It’s so good that the shop has been featured on the Food Network and has been written about in publications from Epicurious to Forbes. But don’t take our word for it – head down to the Bronx’s Little Italy and try it for yourself. If the line out the door turns you off, you can always order online for home delivery. You’ll still get the same great pasta, cut to your specification, and made “the way Nonna made it.”
40 W. 39th Street Third Floor New York, NY 10018
If you’re truly inspired, and food made by anyone but you is just not acceptable, then head over to Rustico Cooking and learn how to make the pasta yourself. Since 2002, the owners at Rustico have been teaching would-be chef’s the art of pizza, pasta, sauce, and broth-making in their top-of-the-line kitchens using the freshest ingredients. They offer cooking classes, parties, and team-building events, all intending to make cooking fun while keeping it simple so that students are motivated to cook regularly. You’ll walk away with a newfound confidence in stuffing ravioli or rolling out pie dough, and you may just take the plunge and join them on one of their cooking vacations in Italy. Buon viaggio!
After your fabulous pasta dinner, head out for a digestif at one of Manhattan’s best speakeasies.