Sunday, May 5, 2019

First Look: Artipasta

If you have followed me here or on Instagram, you may know that I do love a nice big bowl of carbs! Especially when it comes to fresh pasta. (RIP La Dolda Pasta.) So I was very excited to hear about a food trailer called Artipasta, located at The Thicket food park, at the northwest corner of South First and Dittmar in far South Austin, which does in fact make their own fresh pasta.
Artipasta ravioli and carbonara
Artipasta at The Thicket
One of my BFFs and I met for earlyish dinner there last Saturday. I had heard great things about their carbonara (crispy pork and pasta? sign me up!), and saw it on their website's menu. However when we got there, it was no where to be seen on the menu board or specials. Confused, I consulted with the gentleman in the trailer. He said it was an off-menu item, but he could make it for me though it would take a little longer. I said sure! He also wanted to make certain that I was going to eat it on the premises, as it would not travel well (raw egg), and I certainly appreciate his concern for the integrity of his food! My friend wanted ravioli, and after a brief discussion, she told him dealer's choice.

Artipasta carbonara
When our food finally came, we were not disappointed. The pork in the carbonara was super-crisp without any grease.The fresh pasta itself  -- in this dish spaghetti -- was a perfect al dente. I think I would have liked a touch more pasta water mixed with the raw egg to make it a bit more creamy in consistency, but the flavor was there for sure. And yes, this would have been a congealed mess if it was packaged to go.
Artipasta ravioli
Ravioli with ricotta, balsamic and rosemary
My friend's dish was (I think I have this right) chicken ravioli with fresh ricotta, rosemary, and a balsamic reduction. A little heavy on the oil on the plate, but the tastes were great and she ate the entire thing, as did I.
Artipasta cannoli
Amazing cannoli!
We tend not to shy away from dessert, especially when there's cannoli! These were large and delicious. No regrets here! I should add, I ordered the cannoli when we initially ordered the pasta; they said they'd keep them back in the trailer until we were ready for them which was great.
Artipasta food trailer at The Thicket
Artipasta at The Thicket
I really enjoyed The Thicket's atmosphere; about five food trucks sit on a circular perimeter; the inner circle has trees and underbrush (hence the name Thicket, I presume) along with picnic tables. There's also a small performance stage, and it was a family and dog-friendly environment. I realize now, I didn't take photos of the surroundings but you can get the idea from their webpage.
Artipasta logo

Overall, we really enjoyed the food and the atmosphere, and judging from the number of people we saw placing orders or picking up to go food, they appear to be doing well! I wish Artipasta had a salad or other greens offering on their menu, as I would have loved something healthy to accompany the pasta. (It also would have given me the opportunity to order a pasta dish that I could eat half of and take the rest home for later.) To their credit, they do have a caprese salad (basil, tomato + mozzarella) on the menu, but the board said sold out when we were there. Constructively, I'd like to see a clearer menu of their regular items posted online. Per one of their Instagram posts, they apparently sell their fresh pasta, which makes me very excited!

And as Artipasta has posted on their website:
Life is a combination of magic and pasta. 
-- Federico Fellini