Top Ten Dishes 2012 #2: Chitarra at Pastaria

I'm counting down the top ten dishes from the new restaurants that I reviewed in 2012. Read the complete series to date.

Jennifer Silverberg
Pasta makers Greg Reece and Mike McManus at work at Pastaria.
#2. Chitarra at Pastaria (7734 Forsyth Boulevard, Clayton; 314-862-6603)

You could easily overlook the most exciting dish at Pastaria. The menu calls it simply "Chitarra" and offers no further description aside from a list of the supporting ingredients: olive oil, garlic, chile. In this case, though, such a list is apt because the dish brings nothing but strands of pasta alla chitarra tossed with olive oil, slivered garlic and chile-pepper flakes. Its beauty and charm is its simplicity: the lightly chewy pasta coated with the fruity, nutty oil, the garlic softened to a very mild bite, just a pinch of chile heat. Which is why the chitarra is so exciting: It's the perfect introduction to what simple, casual and affordable Italian food should be, not the limp, oversauced slop it all too often is.

-- from "Using Their Noodles" (December 13, 2012)


#3: Steak tartare at Little Country Gentleman
#4: The "Pork Porterhouse" at Cleveland-Heath
#5: Grilled quail at Blood & Sand
#6: "Spicy Wonton Soup" at Famous Szechuan Pavilion
#7: Pho at St. Louis Pho
#8: "Dad's Green-Chile Cheeseburger" at Five Star Burgers
#9: The pambazo at Siete Luminarias
#10: The oatmeal cream pie at Pint Size Bakery & Coffee

Location Info


7734 Forsyth Blvd., St. Louis, MO

Category: Restaurant

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