Sunday, December 15, 2013


Located at 1726 Battleground Avenue, Pastabilities specializes in pasta dishes, but sandwiches and salads are also available. The restaurant offers a full service bar and daily specials. Catering is available as is delivery to a limited area.

Pastabilities may very well be Greensboro’s premier “looks good on paper” restaurant. The menu is enticing, but each of my few visits has been something of a disappointment.

Tucked into a Battleground Avenue shopping center, Pastabilities seems smallish from the outside, but it is deceptively deep. Inside, a wall of wine bottles and tasteful wood trim make for appealing décor, but the charm is somewhat undercut by the close positioning of tables. Even still, noise levels were not insufferable among a dinner crowd.

The biggest asset here is the menu. The pasta-with-a-twist concept may furrow the brows of traditionalists, but for those who want something creative, look no further. Classics like carbonara, cacciatore, and parmesan hobnob alongside various Cajun and Asian-inspired offerings. Want to mix things up? The Four Aces combines linguine, Anduille and Italian sausages, chicken, and shrimp in a mushroom and onion sauce while various dishes incorporate artichokes and pine nuts. And if you don’t see something you like, you can always build your own.

This versatility, combined with above-average service and delicious, fresh-out-of-the-oven bread gives diners every reason to get their hopes up, but within the first few forkfuls that hope is likely diminished. To clarify, the food here is not terrible, merely underwhelming. The Great Sea Caper (linguine, shrimp, scallops, capers, and clams in a tomato clam sauce) was reasonably portioned and adequately sauced, but the clams were tiny and the pasta was limp and overcooked. My companion’s Eggspecially Italian (linguine, peppers, sausage, and onions in marinara sauce) suffered from similar ups and downs. Admittedly, the Cajun-inspired dishes I had tried in the past were not overcooked – and looked great on the plate – but failed to deliver the anticipated big flavors.

At the very least, one can take solace in the fact that Pastabilities does not overcharge for this inconsistency. My entrée and a side salad rang up a reasonable $12.50 while my companion’s dish was a mere $7. You can feed yourself well here for $10 to $12, perhaps too well to enjoy the tantalizing-sounding desserts (Cheesecakes by Alex and various flavored poundcakes).

Despite the punny name, Pastabilities leans closer to tragedy than comedy. The menu, service, pricing, and décor all suggest a winning dining destination, but the food’s failure to impress makes Pastabilities worth only a rare visit at best.


Pastabilities on Urbanspoon

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