Thursday, April 9, 2015

Twelve Inventive Pasta Dishes in the Metro

There's probably no other dish that's as versatile as pasta, with its wide and colorful palette of global flavors ranging from classic old world and traditional to modern, playful, and creative fusions of international cuisine. Here's a quick rundown on some of the most inventive and flavorful pasta dishes in the metro...

Marmalade Kitchen's Black Ink Pasta with Shrimps. The rich flavors of freshly made squid ink pasta adds a whole new dimension with its distinct briny notes. Marmalade Kitchen combines their freshly made black-ink pasta with a flavorful tomato cream sauce, topped with plump shrimps and clams. The subtle sweetness of the shrimps and juicy clams play well with the mildly salty squid ink pasta for balanced flavors. Each bite delivers the bold notes of the ocean, with the tomato cream sauce adding that whisper of tartness to complete the dish. See more of Marmalade Kitchen's comforting dishes on my previous post here at

Calderon's Pasta de Chorizo. Calderon  infuses rich Spanish flavors in their Pasta de Chorizo, with the bold and familiar flavors of Spanish chorizo in a rich tomato sauce. The robust notes of the Spanish chorizo provides all the flavors in this rich pasta dish, made even richer with a sunny side-up adding even more flavors to the mix. The sunny essence of Spain comes through with every bite, guaranteed to brighten up any ordinary day. For more on Calderon's rustic and authentic Spanish cuisine and their signature dishes, check out my previous post here at

Il Ponticello's Gnocchi Amatriciana. A traditional pasta dish from the old country, Il Ponticello's soft and chewy potato and Semolina gnocchi has a comforting and rustic vibe, draped with a thick tomato sauce with Pancetta and topped with Grano Padano. The light yet sharp notes of the premium Pancetta add a contrasting layer to the tart tomato sauce, capped by the rich and authentic flavor of Grano Padano. A classic dish recreated, retaining the familiar richness of the dish with fresh and bold flavors. For more on Il Ponticello, see my previous post here at

Rustique Kitchen's Beef Steak Pasta. Steak with pasta? Why not. Rustique Kitchen combines the local beef steak with pasta for another unique dish. Rustique Kitchen elevates the local beef steak with a premium slab of tender beef, adding a seriously good bite to the dish. Perfectly grilled to medium rare with a juicy pink center, the dish packs a hefty beefy punch, complemented by even more layers of complementary flavors from the caramelized onions, fried shallots, and sauteed mushrooms in a creamy citrus sauce with just the right level of acidity. See more of Rustique Kitchen's signature dishes on my previous post here at

Skull and Bones University Comfort Food's Trailer Park Mac & Cheese. Skull and Bones goes back to basics with its own version of mac & cheese, and as the name suggests, the Trailer Park Mac & Cheese reminds us once again why mac & cheese is always on our list of favorite comfort food. Topped with crunchy saltine crackers for contrasting textures, it's a no-frills dish that's just downright comforting. Bummed by a not so good day? Have one of these and simply sit back and relax...for more on Skull and Bones University Comfort Food's range of cool and comforting dishes, see my previous post here at

Speakeasy's Truffle Mac & Cheese. The mac & cheese goes a level up at Speakeasy with its Truffle Mac & Cheese, an indulgent dish with truffle oil, bacon, and creamy cheese. The nutty truffle oil adds a distinct buttery mouth feel after every bite, and the bacon's smoky flavor slides in shortly after that followed by the cheese. Think of this as your mac & cheese with a serious upgrade. Perfect for a hangover and cold, rainy days. Or any day, really. For more on Speakeasy's cool cocktails and wide range of signature dishes, see my previous post here at

Mesclun's Sisig Pasta. Mesclun adds a uniquely local spin with its rich Sisig Pasta, combining pork sisig and crunchy chicharon with a rich cream sauce coating each noodle for bold flavors. The soothing heat from the chili balances the richness of the dish, as the familiar notes of the pork sisig and chicharon come through in a truly local version of pasta. The flavors are familiar yet refreshingly new and different, transforming the usual pasta dish with its distinct local flavors. And its perfect with a cold beer. See more on Mesclun on my previous post here at

Paprika's Bagoong Pasta. It's an unusual combination, but it works. Paprika redefines our concept of a traditional pasta dish with this playfully inventive version. The sharply flavored, salty and sweet shrimp paste and a crispy slab of pork liempo are probably not what you'd expect from a pasta dish, but it's something you might be craving for after you get a taste of Paprika's novel Bagoong Pasta. Definitely different. Seriously good. See what else is in store for you when you visit Paprika on my previous post here at

The Glass Door's Duck Confit Pasta. Add duck to any dish, and you immediately get rich flavors. Like The Glass Door's Duck Confit Pasta, with tender and juicy shredded duck sauteed with two kinds of onions and mushrooms topped with a flavorful homemade marmalade. The shredded duck adds an indulgent richness contrasting with the sharpness of the onions and nutty hints of the mushrooms. A dish with complex flavors, yet each distinct note balances the other for a comforting blend of flavors. For more on The Gass Door, see my previous post here at

Tipple & Slaw's Spicy Seafood Pasta. Seafood pasta with a spicy kick, Tipple & Slaw combines fresh salmon, crab, rich crab fat, and caviar for a medley of flavors with just enough heat that lingers after your first bite. The spice balances the crab fat, cutting through the richness with a layer of heat. The salmon adds a buttery note to the dish, and the caviar provides bursts of salty hints for a unique pasta dish. Pure, upfront, and bold flavors on a plate. For more on Tipple & Slaw, see my previous post here at, and see how they upgrade familiar comfort food classics with a modern twist.

The Cake Club's Mentaiko Spaghetti. Pasta turns Japanese with a unique twist, The Cake Club combines a rich cream sauce with spicy cod roe and dried seaweed or nori for a simple yet flavorful dish. The flavors are subtle and delicate, yet each ingredient blends with balanced flavors. A light and healthy option, and another "not your usual" pasta dish. For more on The Cake Club's savory dishes, see my previous post here at

Yumi's Uni Pasta. Long known for its line of creative and flavorful sushi rolls, Yumi adds its own playful touch with its unique Japanese-inspired pasta dish, the Uni Pasta. A deceptively simple dish yet the flavors are upfront with fresh and clean notes. The creamy sea urchin roe's distinct flavor binds each of the noodles with a unique richness unlike the usual pasta dish, punctuated by the sharpness of the tart diced tomatoes and spring onions. The play on flavors and textures add to that rare experience when you feel you've tried something new for the first time. It's a creative fusion dish that works. See more of Yumi's artful and flavorful creations on my previous post here at

And that's just some of the metro's unique and inventive pasta dishes, with so much more to discover. Have you had an interesting pasta dish lately?

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  1. This is such a good list, Gerry! I agree with the Chorizo Pasta of Calderon and the Sisig Pasta of Mesclun. I have yet to try the rest :D

    1. Hey Fran, thanks! A lot of good things are coming out from the local food scene, good times!

  2. You should also try some pasta selections at Chelsea Kitchens which is at Mega Fashion Hall. Had a sampling of their Squid Ink Pasta without having the black sauce stuck on your lips and teeth.

    1. Hi Joy, thanks for the heads up, will try that soon. Thanks for stopping by!


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