If there were to be an eighth wonder of the world, it would be pasta. Freshly made strands of pasta served with a delicious, rich sauce.
Of course, pasta is no stranger to us. We all love a good spagbol or lasagna and there’s loads of places that serve it. But the authentic Italian culinary experience, that is something I had not really come across in Bristol, until Pasta Loco came under my radar.
It became apparent from when we arrived that word had already spread about Pasta Loco opening it’s doors. The waitress exclaimed that on Wednesday alone they had been fully booked the whole day, with the exception of a table for two which was available for one hour. Naturally we jumped at the opportunity.
Inside, the vibe was chilled and intimate. At the back of the venue, a part-open kitchen was visible, the chefs bustling about the stove and readying their freshly rolled out pasta. From the bar to the front, which had been opened up to reveal the street beyond, there were rows of tables with bench seating and paper lanterns hanging low from the ceiling. The timber beam detailing on the roof and to the sides of the doorway added a modern feel to the place.
To start, we sipped on a flute of prosecco as we picked at a salad of grilled radicchio, burrata, peaches and hazelnuts (£7.00). The dish was a vision to behold, full of colour whilst the flavours were delicate and subtle by comparrison. The sweetness of the peach worked well with the slight saltiness of the leaves below.
Once the starter was taken away, our mains of reginette (a ribbon like pasta) with slow cooked lamb (£13) and linguini carbonara topped with pork belly (£14) came next. The reginette main had an earthy, wholesome flavour with the addition of root vegetables and a hearty hunk of lamb but we were absolutely won over by the carbonara. In fact, won over would be an understatement. I was straight up ready to take the carbonara to meet my parents and marry it.
The carbonara sauce was beautifully creamy without feeling stodgy, the linguini was soft and slender and the pork belly fell away from the fork, its taste only enhanced further with the addition of the lard wrapped poached egg above it. Of course, as with all pasta dishes the mains did quickly fill us up so I recommend you have a light lunch!
Bloated or not, we couldn’t leave without a sweet bite to end the evening and that’s exactly what it was really, a bite. Our choccie dessert (£5.50) was a little on the small side but that was perfect given how full we were already. True to form, a well-presented mound of rich, dark chocolate panna cotta arrived with whipped sour cream(?) and a trail of dark chocolate crumble and caramel. The combination of flavours worked well, the rich chocolate was balanced out with the whipped sour cream (I think that’s what is was!) and the smooth texture of the panna cotta contrasted well with the crisp chocolate crumble.
I urge you all to visit, I’ve already talked half my office into visiting Pasta Loco but definitely book beforehand to avoid dissappointment. We were hoping to go this Saturday and it’s already booked up after 3pm which says it all!
Pasta Loco, may you remain for many many years to come.