Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Pasquale (Pinheiros)

Rua Amália De Noronha, 167 - Pinheiros

I am on a quest to try as many of what Comer e Beber claims are "the best" restaurants in SP. After a long break from eating out (actually, eating at all, but that's another story), some friends and I headed to Pinheiros to Pasquale, which was voted the best "Italian Cantina" in SP.

Being gringoes, I love the fact that I rarely need to make a reservation because I tend to go out to eat on the early side for Paulistas! We got there about 8 pm...many open tables. By the time we left at 10 pm, there were about 40-50 people waiting for a spot. Talk about good timing.

There are lots of good things about Pasquale. The best, though, is the antepasto bar. You are able to order just what you want of everything. Highlights of the things we tried:

Berinjela Barese - sliced eggplant with tomato sauce, capers and anchovies
Involtine Pimentão - Grilled red peppers wrapped around anchovies
Caponata - absolutely divine eggplant spread
Alcachofra - Corações de alcachofrinha em azeite - Artichoke hearts in delicious olive oil

We also tried some sausage slices, which were just the right amount of spicy. So good. The antepastos are accompanied by baskets of fresh bread.

You can choose your pasta (spaghetti, penne, rigatoni, or orichetti), and your sauce. Between the four of us, we tried the pesto, the carbonara, and the putanesca. the pasta itself was outstanding...just tastes so fresh. The carbonara, however, was the best of the three sauces...complex flavors that just worked together.

For dessert, we had the chocolate cake with apricot ice cream. Perfect. We also had the fresh pineapple...nothing special, but was actually very refreshing and a nice compliment to the richness of the chocolate cake.

Pasquale is not "cool" or "hip" or "happening". But it is simple, delicious, and relaxed. A great place to go when you want to sit for a while and have a nice fresh bowl of pasta.

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