There are three things I love most in the entire culinary universe: carbs, cheese, and wine. So when my husband, Jake, and I received an invitation to attend the new Pastini location’s soft open it was a no brainer as to what our response would be. It was ‘yes’ in case you were wondering.
325 Oakway Rd, Eugene, OR 97401
Pastini Pastarias are strictly unique to Oregon with locations in Portland, Corvallis, and the newest spot opening in Eugene. They specialize in authentic Italian dishes using local, fresh ingredients. This location had a warm and comfortable interior juxtaposed with dark industrial elements influenced by the high ceiling of exposed pipes. The casual atmosphere was reflected in the servers’ uniform. Each wore a company t-shirt in what appeared to be a soft cotton, jeans, and converses in either black or red. Having worked in the food industry for years I can appreciate a business who puts their employees comfort as a priority. The displayed artwork was large yet minimal to keep focus on the true masterpieces, the food.
After we ordered our glasses of wine we chose to start the meal with my favorite Italian tradition, the Chef’s Board, an antipasto dish. It’s a collection of different verities of meats, vegetables, fruits, and cheeses thrown onto a slab of hardwood. This is one of my favorite things to construct while I am at home feeling lazy yet craving something fancy. This board is an assortment including Porchetta, Provolone, olives, roasted brussels sprouts, beets, tomato jam, toasted bread, and goat’s cheese (the best cheese in my opinion).
Since we felt like living a bit dangerously this evening we ordered another starter plate, the Porcini Toast. This was a risk worth taking because this was, by far, my favorite dish of the entire meal. Pieces of toasted bread slathered in a porcini-garlic mushroom butter then topped with a hearty helping of seasoned ricotta sprinkled with Parmesan. In my version of heaven I will be eating this everyday.
Even after all this food we were still determined to try their entrees. Jake went with a more familiar dish, the Fetticcine Alfredo with Chicken. I, however, wanted to try something different and unlike anything I have had before. So, I picked the dish with a name unfamiliar and that I had trouble pronouncing, the Cavatappi Primavera.
What I appreciated with both of these entrees was the sauce to pasta ratio. It was perfectly even. At other Italian establishments, say a certain factory that makes spaghetti, once you have eaten up all your noodle you are left with a soup of marinara or mizithra sauce. In Jake’s entree the creamy Alfredo was a complement to the freshly made fettuccine and cook perfectly chicken. In my Cavatappi Primavera there actually was no sauce. Only the well seasoned collection of zucchini, mushrooms, peas, roasted peppers, green beans, squash, tomatoes, and broccolini tossed with the warm pasta and a light coating of olive oil. It was a simple dish with simple ingredients and it was simply delectable.
At Pastini there is something for everyone. For vegetarians, like myself , Pastini offers an entire section of the menu dedicated to vegetarian pasta dishes. For those that eat gluten free, like my husband, Pastini will substitute any pasta with a gluten free option. For those that eat vegan you can order the chef’s plate and enjoy the flavorful fresh vegetables, share the meat and cheese with others of your party , then order one of their non creamy vegetarian options.
For this girl, who bleeds marinara, I was highly satisfied with my food experience at Pastini. I encourage everyone in Eugene to visit the new location, immediately. Run, not walk, then run again afterwards to burn off all those delicious calories you just consumed.