Pasta e Pesto
Via Cattedrale 16, Lugano, CH.
I’m no foodie. But I like authentic, sole owner restaurants. With their own local menu and traditions…
Wednesday night in Lugano.Pedestrian steep downhill steps coming from the cathedral. Most people who enter are a bit befuddled as to how this works. So you are immediately greeted by someone in the restaurant, who helps to proudly explain the process. They are enthusiastic, and excited about the concept; this is the first location, although more are planned.
Inside the deli case, there are a number of different styles of pasta. ALL the pasta is fresh made. Lasagna, linguini, some with egg, some without. But all FRESH. You pick out what you wish, and then pick one of the four featured sauces you would like. You are given a small pager, which is probably much more important for the lunch crowd rush…. but I was, at the moment (5pm) the only person in the restaurant. You take a seat, and wait for the few minutes it takes to cook your fresh pasta and sauce. Coffee and other beverages are also available.
I believe the young man who greeted me was the owner, because he answered many of my numerous inquiries with a great deal of pride of ownership. I had to ask how the pasta was cooked; with oil, without oil? With salt? There is a formula, of course. 100 grams of pasta for 1 liter of water. No oil, and a dash of salt. If I find an interesting restaurant, I’m just amateur foodie enough to ask a lot of questions, in the hopes I can bring some of it back home to my cooking. At one point, I mentioned I wondered if he had thought to add salad to the offering. He proudly (and with a smile) exclaimed that they were sticking with the business model: fresh pasta, fresh pesto. No salad.
I think women now make more than 80% of the consumer decisions in the world these days, and I’m guessing they want something not as fattening as delicious pasta, for an option… so salad would be a good, complimentary addition. But we’ll see.
I enjoy the conversation as much as the food, which was excellent. I ordered a pretty simple linguini with a tomato style sauce. A little later in the discussion, the young man asked me if I would like to try some of the fresh pesto, so I agreed. He wanted to share his lasagna this time, so offered meat or vegetable. I chose the vegetable, and asked for a very small portion since the first serving was very satisfying. In a few minutes, out came the delicious lasagna and pesto entree. It truly was quite tasty. Fresh pasta makes a world of difference. The coffee is from a large Nespresso machine, self serve.
More customers started trickling in later, as it got closer to the normal dinner hour. As each new group came in, they had the same bewildered expressions; a bit intimidated sometimes, but cautiously curious. And in each case, they were quickly greeted by the host, who went through the well rehearsed explanation.
When I finished up, the young man came out from the back, shook my hand and thanked me for coming in and wished me “All The Best.” The restaurant is about 6 months old now, and just coming into tourist season - and I wish them … all the best … as well.
Great concept, great food, wonderful staff.