By Laurel Brauns
In August of 2009, the small Portland chain, Pastini Pastaria, opened its first out-of-city location in Bend, Oregon on the banks of the Deschutes River in the Old Mill District. Its soft opening was a fundraiser for one of Bend’s most treasured cultural destinations, the High Desert Museum, and since then, both locals and visitors have enjoyed the vibrant Italian-bistro-like atmosphere, the attentive service and the fantastic value offered by Pastini Pastaria, one of the newest additions to Bend’s culinary landscape.
Whether you are gearing up for a race, looking for a relaxing evening with a significant other or searching for a restaurant that the entire family can enjoy, consider a night at Pastini Pastaria, where you can enjoy stunning views of the Cascades in the distance and a wide variety of meals at the right price.
Here at Visit Bend, we recently added a team of ten passionate and enthusiastic volunteers to our Welcome Center staff. In an effort to thank them for their invaluable contribution to our mission to disseminate factual and descriptive information about all there is to do in Bend--including where to eat,--we took them out for a familiarization meal, courtesy of Susan and Craig Bachel, Pastini owners, and were taken care of by Corey Donovan, General Manager of Pastini here in Bend.
They treated us to a truly exceptional spread of pasta dishes in an atmosphere punctuated by views of a Central Oregon sunset, and made all the more memorable by a glass of Willamette Valley wine. Visit Bend thanks you Pastini!
The meal began with complimentary oven-fresh bread with small plates for dipping in olive oil and balsamic, which is on every table.
The expedient and knowledgeable wait staff soon returned after delivering bread with a family-sized portion of Antipasto, consisting of slices of soprasetta (pork sausage) and mortadella (akin to bologna), along with a selection of provolone and mozzarella, a roasted eggplant spread (not unlike baba ghanouj), marinated tomatoes, and Kalamata olives. The centerpiece of the platter was decorated with fresh greens dressed in balsamic and red wine vinaigrette.
Order the Parmigiana Bread before you even take your coat off if you have some hungry little ones and let them indulge in the simplicity of a baguette grilled with parm, accompanied with a side of marinara dipping sauce. Parents can relax over a glass of Pacific Northwest wine, or go for a whole bottle—nothing on the wine list is over $30. Ask your server for pairings.
Caprese is an Italian classic, and Pastini serves it right with its mozzed-up version including sundried tomatoes, fresh basil, Kalamata olives, olive oil and delicate greens.
Spaghetti agli e olio:
Don’t let the simplicity of this dish (pasta, sautéed garlic, olive oil and parm) steer you away from this pre-race classic.
This is for the day after the race when the decadent pasta rolls filled with beef, pork, ricotta and spinach, topped with alfredo and marinara is just what your carbohydrate-starved body is craving.
Gnocchi Alla Vodka:
There always has to be either the gluten-allergic or the vegetarian in the group to make things complicated. At Pastini, both can be accommodated. Check out the succulent gnocchi with a homemade vodka sauce accented with just the right amount of parmesan cheese.
It’s easy to enjoy this blend of butternut squash, wild mushrooms, spinach and rosemary, in a delightfully light cream sauce.
Try this artichoke chicken salad, complimented with feta, olives, roasted red peppers and basil pesto aioli (mayonnaise) on rustic homemade ciabatta bread.
Finish off a perfect meal with this dessert made for two: molten triple-chocolate cake and a truffle center and a scoop of vanilla-bean ice cream. Delizioso!