Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Justa right!

Mark another one off the list. You'd think by now I'd have eaten everywhere I wanted. Last night w and I went to a joint that has been out there on my list for about ten years, and for no reasonable reason, I had never shown up.
You know how sometimes you don't want anything too done. I don't need to drive some new car. I don't need a new McMansion to live in so all my friends can laugh at me. I don't need a new Armani suit to validate myself. Well, actually, scratch that one, because I really do want a new Armani suit. What I'm saying is I'm all about keeping it simple. Last night was the perfect example. w had mentioned going to Justa Pasta, a small noodle emporium here in Portland that I always hear good things about. After last nights experience, it was everything I'd heard and more. Justa Pasta started as a wholesaler of fresh pastas to various Portland restaurants. After a few years they opened their own kitchen as part of their business, and word of mouth has gotten them throngs of loyal fans. Hence my being remiss in not being one of them.

I love this kind of place. You walk in, grab a menu, check out the specials board, snag a very reasonably priced bottle of wine off the rack to your right, order at the register, and find your seat in the casual, comfortable dining room. That's it. Oh, and wait for your very good, simply prepared food to make it's your seat. We shared a very credible Caesar salad, a deliciously rich, earthy bowl of cream of mushroom soup, and two plates of very satisfying pasta. w had the bolognese on their perfectly done, flavorful tagliatelle, and I had butternut squash ravioli in a hazelnut/marsala sauce. The best part is all this goodness only set us back $57, which included a great bottle of 2001 Vino Nobile de Montepulciano ($29) from Corte Alla Flore. It reminded me of a place in NYC I went to and loved, a little, and I mean tiny, hole in the wall called called Pepe Rosso to Go. Although Justa is a bit more dressed up. The bottom line on both is that you were able to eat good, well executed Italian food and drink slurpy grape juice at more than reasonable prices. I've gotta think that's about all I could ask, right?!

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