Pastamichi Italian Restaurant

(Pastamichi is now closed. This post was written in 2007.)
The best thing about Pastamichi in West Salem is it's location. When you cross over the Marion Street bridge into Polk County, Pastamichi is the first thing you see. Veer left at the bottom of the bridge and pull into the parking lot on the right. I say this because it's always difficult to figure out which way to go when you get to that intersection. Inside, Pastamichi is clean and modestly decorated with photographs for sale by local artists. When you first sit down, you feel like this could be a good experience. The menu has an array of modern Italian classics like pizza margherita, fettucini puttanesca, and chicken piccata along with a number of steak and veal entrees. On this visit I ordered the spinach tortellini with pesto sauce. It was a nice portion and cooked just slightly al dente but I wouldn't say it was mouth watering. This was the third time I've eaten here, each time thinking that I must be ordering the wrong thing. Now, I've concluded that the food is not worth driving over the bridge to eat. I feel bad about this place not being very good because the food looks right but it just doesn't taste authentic. I even tried a meatball from the kids meal and again was very disappointed in the flavor. The service is fine, but I've never eaten at this restaurant when there was more than a couple of tables. Another reason Pastamichi is having trouble attracting a crowd is while we were dining, they started mopping the floors so they could get out early. I may not have noticed but my wife and her super sensitive sniffer gagged at the smell of the chemicals in the industrial strength floor cleaner. She was so upset by this, she said I had to mention it in the blog. I don't want to say Pastamichi is bad but it's definitely not great.


Anonymous said...

I've eaten lunch a few times at Pastamichi and have always liked it. Is it as good as Willamette Noodle? No. But it's certainly better than the Olive Garden. They make a delicious Caprese Salad (probably better during summertime as I think they use local produce). This restaurant deserves a try in my book.

Stephanie said...

I agree wholeheartedly!

Anonymous said...

We were so excited to see an Italian place open up in West Salem. We have dined here about four or five times.
The first time was the best. Each time, it kind of went down hill.
The salad that comes with the meal has always been wilty, and bland. Each time I was hoping it would be better, but no.
The "Olive Oil" on the table is just plain bad tasting stuff.
The service has been just ok, one time we had a guy waiter, who would have rather been off by himself, then serve us, he was just rude.
We will not be going back.

Anonymous said...

I actually like this place. They make a nice chicken cacciatore. Not the best, but better than the old Olive Garden. The atmosphere leaves a little to be desired. It's way too bright and open for my taste.

The food is good though, and reasonably priced.

Aaron said...

They have great veal, with huge portions for a very reasonable price, everything else I've tried has been just mediocre, they do usually always have good soup.

K & N said...

I read in the SJ this morning that Pastamichi has closed.

Anonymous said...

yep, it has closed.