I travel to the area quite often and have been visiting Pasta Plus for several years. My only regret is that I did not visit earlier! I saw it on yelp but the location, in a mostly abandoned strip mall at the intersection of Routes 198 and 1 in Laurel did not inspire confidence nor does the name. Boy, this place gives new meaning to the phrase, "You can't judge a book by it's cover!"
As you walk in the front door you se the wood burning oven that turns out nice crusty bread with a soft center. The place is made up of several units of the old strip mall and is cut up oddly so it seems smaller than it is. The place feels like an old school italian restaurant.
One of the owners typically greet and seat you. I'm sorry that I do not know their names but, again first impressions are deceiving as they seem a little distant when seating you but are very hospitable as they rotate around the restaurant greeting everyone, regular and newcomer.
The staff does not seem to change much and are not the bubbly kind you find at many restaurants but are low key and genuinely pleasant people and very efficient. Even the bus staff which are younger are trained in a similar way. Water glasses are never empty and plates are cleared. I visit every six weeks or so and have at least 2 waitresses that recognize me and go out of their way to give a warm welcome whether or not I am in their section.
I hate the menu however! Why? There are too many delicious choices to choose from! And, then, once you have narrowed down your selections, they tell you about the specials that really throw a monkey wrench into the decision process! When trying to decide, use this as a guide, I have NEVER not thoroughly enjoyed whatever I have chosen!
My favorites are the Chicken Arrabiata (2 boneless breasts of chicken sautéed in a sort of fra diavlo sauce) and the Veal with artichokes in a white wine sauce. You have a choice of vegetables or a side of pasta. Get the pasta, it is made in house and very tender! All entrees come with a nice house salad and their house dressing. Portions are just right, not overwhelming but not skimpy either.
Bread is served warm with olive oil and a dish of grated cheese, both of which is put on the bread.
Desserts are homemade and I recommend the house cake. The only dessert I do not prefer is the ricotta cheesecake, I like a creamier, more dense cheesecake.
Pricewise, most entrees are in the high teens, definitely reasonable. Beer and wine only, not a huge selection but the house wines are always tasty.
I cannot wait til I visit next!
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