We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Friendly Service, good food”
Review of The Great Impasta - CLOSED

No photo provided
Got a photo?
Add it.
The Great Impasta
Price range: $10 - $15
Cuisines: American, Italian
Dining options: Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Reviewed June 12, 2011

We ate there for a early lunch after visiting the Farmer's Market at the Lincoln Square Mall. Didn't really plan on going there. We were pleasantly surprised by both the food and the service. My 2 really young kids made a meal out the complimentary bread. The friendly server gave them extra helpings of bread and lots of butter. We ordered vegetarian options -stuffed Mediterranean bread, Marcostrone soup and Basil Pesto. The soup and pasta were excellent. The stuffed bread was tooooo cheesy but still pretty good. Service was really good. We liked the fact that there were quite a few vegetarian options. Overall, a good experience.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank rs_phd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (20)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

18 - 20 of 20 reviews

Reviewed August 13, 2009

The Great Impasta has been in the Champaign area since the early '80's. I used to go to lunch there often and the food was always wonderful. It started out in a small storefront in downtown Champaign and moved a few doors down years later. The latest move has taken the restaurant to Lincoln Square in Urbana. The original owner passed away a few years ago and the current owner was a chef at the old Great Impasta.
My husband and I made 3 visits since they moved to Lincoln Square. The restaurant was refurbished and is small but pleasant. There's a small bar. I wish that I could say that the food is just as good as it used to be but, unfortunately, I can't. On our first visit I had the spaghetti alla carbonara and my husband had the ravioli with gorgonzola sauce. Although tasty, both dishes were extremely heavy and we could not finish either meal. Of course, one can ask for a "doggy bag" so that's not too much of a problem. It just seemed that both dishes could make a tasty side dish but were so overwhelmingly rich/heavy that I decided I wouldn't order either one of them again. However, we were both interested in returning and trying some other menu items. On our second visit, I ordered the lasagne marinara and found it OK but again, heavier than I had remembered. My husband ordered the portobella and pepper pasta and did not enjoy it at all. I tasted it and to me it simply did not taste good. WE were still undeterred and recently returned for a third visit. This time I ordred the chicken parmesan and was totally disappointed. The chicken was rubbery and tasteless while the sauce was bland and watery. My husband had the spaghetti vongole and didn't finish the dish. He simply didn't like it.
While I would not discourage anyone from trying this restaurant, I wouldn't take any of my family or friends here. I realize that The Great Impasta doubtless has many loyal customers who enjoy their food but we have decided it is not for us. The food is nothing like it was under the original owner. I will say that portions are generous and the prices are reasonable. If you can find a particular menu item that you enjoy then this is a fine place to visit. Service is friendly but a bit erratic. On our recent visit we had to wait quite a while to get a wine list and a glass of water. I think this was due to the fact that our waitress had tables outside as well as inside and she couldn't get to everyone on a timely basis.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank blytheIllinois
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
Chicago, Illinois
445
Reviewed June 17, 2009

Caught up with a friend I hadn't seen in a while for a late Saturday lunch and to satisfy an aglio e oglio craving of pasta. It was a nice quiet place to be and the food was okay but nothing to run home to mom about.

Thank A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual contributor and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed The Great Impasta also viewed

Urbana, Champaign-Urbana
 
Urbana, Champaign-Urbana
 

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing