For some reason, I always seem to venture west and south from Union Square when I’m in search of lunch. Okay, every now and then I’ll go east, but not too far, and never north. It’s not like I have some kind of weird direction bias and it’s not a wasteland or anything in those areas…that’s just how it is! When I finally did go north one day, I discovered an excellent little pasta place, Lamarca Pasta, that made me realize what I was missing out on this whole time.
Lamarca is a small joint that has two parts to the building–a smaller “cheese shop” section, mostly taken up by a kitchen, where you can order pastas, sandwiches, and salads to-go, and a larger, sit-down area where you can order off a menu but also get whatever you ordered at the former place sent over if you want to stay and eat.
The big draw of Lamarca is the option to make a customized pasta dish. You choose the pasta, you choose the sauce, bada bing bada boom! There’s ravioli and fettucini and fusilli and spaghetti and linguine and gnocchi and tagliatelle and orecchiette and gemelli and…don’t you just love pasta names?! There’s also plenty of sauce choices too, and bonus, you can order half of one kind and half another with your pasta!
My friend and I walked into the “shop” portion of Lamarca and were promptly greeted by a worker who enthusiastically explained how everything worked there. He then gave us lots of welcome suggestions about the best pasta shapes and most popular sauces. I ordered the cavatappi pasta (a corkscrew-macaroni-like pasta that I never had before but he said held on to sauce well) with half aurora sauce (a tomato cream vodka sauce) and half creamy pesto. We went to the other side of Lamarca to grab a table and in no time at all received our dishes, which each had grated Parmesan and little pieces of cheese on top.
If you’re one of those people who hates when your food gets all mixed up and touches each other, then maybe this half and half situation isn’t for you, but I loved it. Getting to try two different amazing sounding sauces plus ending up with a mixture of cream and tomato and pesto as I neared the end of my bowl? Sounds great to me!
If you choose to go straight to the sit-down side of Lamarca you can order pasta dishes for between $12.50 to $15 at lunch and for $16 to $18 at dinner. That’s also around the same price range from the order counter, which isn’t so bad for a generous portion of pasta! I mean really, why is Italian food so expensive all the time?? That’s a discussion for another day! Just remember that it’s cash only.
For fast food Italian or a treat-yourself kind of lunch, head on over to Lamarca. Now that I know that it’s there, I’ll always have a reason to go north. 😉
Cavatappi pasta with half aurora and half creamy pesto sauce
161 E 22nd St
New York, NY 10010