Monthly Food Critique: Pascucci
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729 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA, 93101
When walking down State Street, hidden away in the dark, Pascucci stands to offer great Italian food. Upon walking into the dimly lit atmosphere, the sounds of cooking and plates clattering, and the smell of good food and wine offer a warm welcome. The servers are often somewhat overwhelmed with the amount of customers which leads to a long line and unorganized due to a lacking hostess. Their menus however, are stacked at the front so that customers who are waiting can look at the food options the place has to offer from appetizers, paninis, salads, a wide variety of pastas, and specials. They also offer homemade drinks like lemonade and Italian sodas. Pascucci also has a small dessert menu.
Initially walking into the small restaurant, customers are surprised to see a hidden back room with much more seating for bigger parties. If coming for a smaller group or a date for two, there is more romantic seating, away from all of the restaurant’s commotion and hidden in their own space to enjoy each other’s presence. Upon arriving, the waiter takes the tables order and brings a basket of fresh, homemade garlic bread.
If a pasta is ordered, they offer a side salad for extra charge. However, the salad, though a simple Caesar, has good fresh lettuce topped with freshly sliced parmesan and a good amount of dressing. That can also be asked for on the side. A popular customer favorite is the Pasta Pascucci: a smokey fettuccine with chicken and shrimp. If there are any issues with the type of pasta, the servers would happily help their customers and answer any clarifying questions the menu does not address. Another good menu choice is in the specials portion, or Specialita in Italian. The dish is a Palermo which comes with four tiger shrimp stuffed with pesto and wrapped in prosciutto served with a capellini on a tomato and roasted garlic cream sauce.
With their affordable prices, it creates the another good option for date night. Their meal portions are also filling, leaving no need to order more food. Even so, Pascucci has a homemade dessert menu with classic desserts like tiramisu, crème brûlée, gelato and sorbets.
Overall, the experience at Pascucci is a romantic night filled with delicious fresh pasta. Contrasting the beginning, where there was difficulty serving, the food comes out very quickly, hot and fresh from the nearby open kitchen. Pascucci is a must go for friends or those with significant others, especially with Valentine’s Day coming around the corner.