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2 of 5 bubbles Review of Pastabilities

Ranked #2 of 683 Restaurants in Syracuse
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $5 - $25
Cuisines: Italian, Fusion
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Kids, Large groups, Families with children, Local cuisine, Business meetings, Special occasions, Bar scene
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Level Contributor
24 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 28, 2010

Been there 3-4 times in the last 4 years, EVERYtime it's the same thing: cocky service, sub par food, hard, cold, overpriced, tasteless pasta. I will not be returning. I have heard this from many other locals as well. The only reason this place is busy is because there are not many other pasta options in the immediate area, so visitors settle (and the restaurant "looks" classy). Seriously people, do not wast your money, just get a loaf of their great bread @ the bakery across the street.

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1 Thank SeanOrcutt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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848 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
171 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“Shockingly good!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 22, 2010

Corny name... but the atmosphere, food and locations are amazing. Prices are reasonable, and the kids' menu is also great. Make sure you go here. We were entertained by a great jazz trio and the servings was doggie-bag huge! Service was friendly but not sup-swift, however, the atmosphere kept us upbeat, as did the food and terrific bread!

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Thank 5gordons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southwestern US
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“So Over-rated - Highly rated compared to what?”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 20, 2010

Went to Pastabilities because our daughter who is a student at Syracuse Univ heard about it and couldn't afford to go on her student budget. The atmosphere was fine. We got there right at 5pm and beat the rush. The bread that is so highly taughted is basic foccaccia bread available at any good grocery store or bakery. Of course it's good, it's foccaccia bread. But Pastabilities' bread isn't anything beyond average foccaccia. Just over-rated.

We had calamari and some other appetizer which were ok but unimpressive. Not even as good as the chain Macaroni Grill.

My wife and daughter both ordered pasta. Yet again, despite the raves (from employees?), it was basic pasta. It would take an intentional effort to mess up pasta. Yet, the pasta came in a cream sauce with lots of garlic and a few medallions of scallops around the edges. I tasted it but must say I've had better at Spaghetti Warehouse. At least Spaghetti Warehouse , Macaroni Grill and local Italian restaurants try to serve their pasta al dente and not in a starchy glop.

I ordered the ribeye steak but got the chicken. Granted, we discussed chicken as one of the options but we all heard me order the steak since my wife said she cooks chicken at home all the time. When the waitress delivered the wrong entree the conversation went something like this:

Diner: "Um, I ordered the steak."
Waitress: "No you didn't."
Diner: "Yes, I really did."
Watiress: "No you didn't. I have it written right here."
Diner: "Do you recall I asked you about the chicken and the steak and my wife suggested I get the steak since she cooks chicken all the time at home?"
Waitress: "No, you ordered the chicken."
Diner: "Well, actually, we did talk about both but I am certain I ordered the steak, medium with some crushed red pepper if you had it."
Waitress: "You ordered the chicken and you got chicken."

Not wanting to make a scene, we all exchanged looks across the table hinting of, "Who is this crazy person telling us what we ordered and refusing to be wrong? Nice attitude."

I accepted the chicken just to satisfy our Hanibal Lecter waitress and because we had to get to a play. Realistically, chicken was my second choice. It still doesn't justify the waitresses attitude. The chicken was stuffed with goat cheese. Unfortunately, the chicken was cold and very, very dry, like your worste nightmare turkey on Thanksgiving Day. The cheese was cool and hard and the whole dish was flavorless except for the excessive garlic, and this comeing from one who usually likes a lot of garlic.

I don't know what the fuss over this restaurant is about. Perhaps within Syracuse this place is "the rave", but I must say, I've had the same bread from Central Market, Whole Foods and a dozen average bakeries and italian restaurants. The food itself was ok but nothing special. Certainly nothing worth any effort. The service at the reception desk was friendly, the waitress was impressive, not in a good way, but this did not color the review of the Diner-esque food.

The prices weren't outrageous for metropolitan restaurants (Chicago, NYC, LA) but for the food we had, and for Syracuse options, it was overpriced, over-rated and underwhelming.

We've had great food at many other local restaurants over the weeks we've spent in Syracuse. I would not recommend wasting your time on this one. Even if someone is doing a great job at fluffing up a buzz among those who may have a bias?

I would definitely recommend other options, even if local simple fair from a locally operated individual. Some of the best finds we've had were individuals without the overblown marketing efforts.

I would NOT recommend wasting your time or money here when there are so many better options. We won't be coming back.

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3 Thank pbincns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oswego county
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Love this place!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 22, 2010

This is a great place for dinner. The food is consistantly good, service is always excellent, has a lively atmosphere, and the hot spicey tomato oil is great!

Thank Iluvgoodfood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
“My Meal was Inedible, Friends Meals OK”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 5, 2009

Having read the many good reviews for Pastabilities we headed there this evening. First off, let me say our server was wonderful -- she was attentive and her service was spot on. Unfortunately, my food wasn't spot on.

We were the first seating of the evening and the much anticipated stretch bread arrived ice cold (on the upside, the spicy tomato sauce for dipping was tasty). My main dish, linguine w/ white clam sauce was frankly inedible. The linguine was downright gummy and mushy. The dish was loaded with clams, but they were minced so fine that they lacked texture and chew -- and the clams and sauce lacked flavor.

I note that my friends all had other pasta dishes, and while no one raved, they did make dents in theirs, while I took a couple bites and called it quits.

Maybe my meal was an anomaly for the place was packed by 5:30 and there was quite a line when we left--very popular. Tonight? Bummed to have shelled out $25+ dollars and be home eating a sandwich now for my real dinner.

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Thank ElizDNy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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