This was a stressful week, but it ended well. I was able to pick up my wife from her job on Thursday evening (after an unexpected emergency that ended up working out). That was nice, because I almost never get to do that. As usual, I suggested going out to dinner to decompress, and as usual, I offered her a bunch of options. She is a much pickier eater than I, and too often, her catch phrase when trying to choose a restaurant or even a type of food to eat is “Nothing sounds good.”
But that night, she was craving fresh pasta, ideally squid ink pasta. I’m not typically the biggest fan of going out for pasta because let’s face it — restaurant pasta dishes are expensive, and I buy good-quality DeCecco pasta, cook it perfectly al dente at home in well-salted water (with no oil, ever!), and either make my own sauces or doctor up a good commercial sauce like Mezzetta or Rao’s. But I’m not hardcore enough to make fresh pasta from scratch, so it’s a rare and worthwhile indulgence. There was only one possible place to go: Trevi Pasta in Orlando’s hip College Park neighborhood near downtown. https://www.trevipasta.com/
Trevi Pasta is a very small, family-owned operation famous for fresh, homemade pastas and sauces. They also have delicious gelato and other Italian desserts, and some Italian groceries.
Get this — they didn’t have squid ink pasta that night, but they told me they would have it this weekend. But the chef had a very small amount in the kitchen, and he brought it out for us to try, just to be a cool and good guy! It was served simply, with olive oil and herbs, and it was black as the night, briny, and al dente AF:
Trevi Pasta regularly changes their offerings, so don’t be like us and ask what they have, since they post a huge menu right near the entrance:
Here’s another version of the menu:
My wife chose the potato gnocchi, usually a favorite of both of ours, but this gnocchi blew away the starchy store-bought kinds we usually get. She got hers with alfredo sauce and a huge, soft looking blob of burrata, that smooth, soft blend of fresh mozzarella cheese and cream.
I went with the spicy “inferno” pasta, and I chose tagliatelle — wider than fettuccine, not as wide as papardelle. I paired it with amatriciana sauce, my favorite pasta sauce, which I often make at home from scratch with San Marzano tomatoes, pancetta, onions, and lots of crushed red pepper flakes. I opted to get mine with meatballs too, and I ended up with four delicious little meatballs with a dense, spongy consistency and lots of flavor.
We both agreed they were the best bowls of pasta we’ve had in a very long time.
The only thing that didn’t blow us away were the rolls, which were on the hard side:
Then for dessert, we went back to look at some of those beautiful gelato flavors, and the nice lady at Trevi Pasta allowed us to sample a few.
My wife chose two scoops: panna cotta and cookies and cream (sorry about not having a photo), and I went with pineapple (I’ll always try anything pineappley) and passion fruit. Both were rich and intensely-flavored and refreshing. Passion fruit is not a fruit or a flavor I usually try, but it was so good — maybe even better than the pineapple!
Each gelato came with a tasty wafer cookie stamped with “Buon Appetito,” which was a nice touch.
I can’t say this was a cheap meal, but it was one of the more delicious restaurant meals either of us have had in a long time, and I don’t mind paying for very high quality. Trevi Pasta’s pasta, sauce, meatballs, and gelato were all masterful, and I have zero regrets. They will also sell any of their fresh pastas by the pound so you can prepare them at home.
In fact, I went back earlier today and picked up some freshly-cut squid ink fettuccine pasta, since we only got a tiny taste the other night. It was beautiful, delicious, and the same perfect texture after cooking for three and a half minutes in boiling water as salty as the sea.