Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City
There was a time in New York when you could get a cheap (and I mean cheap) dinner of well-cooked pasta and sauce. That time is mostly gone.
Even one of my old favorites, Supper, which is a super casual but solid osteria and wine joint have risen their prices to a still fair $13-$17 per pasta.
Of course times have changed, but not everybody’s income has changed with the raising rents and food costs. So I was mouth-gapingly shocked when I saw that every single pasta on San Marzano’s menu was $9.
It’s even more shocking when you realize that this spacious restaurant is right in the heart of the hip (and now expensive) East Village on the corner of Second Avenue and 7th Street. It’s not hidden down an alley or in a basement below some other business. It’s in the middle of it all.
The restaurant allows you to customize your meal by choosing a pasta (whole wheat and gluten-free are options) and then a type of sauce (everything from butternut squash & sausage to pesto to bolognese).
I was expecting the portion size to be tiny or the quality to be less than spectacular. I was wrong on both counts. The pappardelle I chose was perfectly al dente with a wonderful bite and it provided a vessel for the rich sauce. The boar meat had a slight gaminess that was brightened up with San Marzano tomatoes and some tangy pecorino.
It was an excellent pasta dish. And it would have been even if I had spent double the price. I’m just glad I didn’t.
Thanks San Marzano for letting me relive my younger days of having great pasta for less than $10. In New York today, that’s truly a one-of-a-kind experience.
|117 Second Avenue (at East 7th Street),