Open since April, Pasta Folie claims to be the offshoot of a 13-year-old Folie’s in Cannes, France, but something may have been lost in translation. It’s a shame, because we were excited about the pasta-centric menu, divided into classic Italian dishes and international inspirations that promise the flavors of Indonesia, France, Thailand, Mexico, Japan and more. Although photos on the restaurant’s website suggest noodles made of julienned zucchini and handmade, vegetable-infused pastas, we were basically offered three choices: spaghetti, fettuccine or penne.
Ambience: Occupying a long, narrow space in the Shops at Midtown, Pasta Folie’s exudes industrial chic with painted air ducts, leather benches, wooden tables, an open kitchen, canned world music and a concrete floor. The block walls are splashed with dark plum accents and hung with maps, an Old World clock and big stock photos of pasta. We had no trouble taking in the surroundings because there was nobody to block our view, the only signs of dining life being food stains on the paper menus.
- The Indi pasta – a blend of carrots, zucchini, onions, eggplant and red bell peppers in a creamy curry sauce that had just the right amount of heat
- Chorizo pizza with thick slabs of meat and black olives and a thin pizza crust made from a nice, floury dough
What Didn’t Work
- A waitress who seemed confused — about everything from what vegetables we could expect on the vegetarian pizza to how to pronounce “profiterole”
- “Soba spaghetti” lacking the nuttiness of true soba and accented with tough, overcooked meat
- The Chili pasta – a soggy disappointment with a soupy, beans-and-beef topping that was so spicy it was almost inedible
- Bolognese with a watery sauce and mealy ground beef
- Crusty (cold) bread offered at the beginning of the meal
- A disinterested, totally disengaged server on a second visit
- Lemon tart with an impenetrable crust