Utilizing all the 21st Century resources at my disposal, (well, at least all the ones I have figured out how to use so far) I queried the twitteratti to obtain restaurant recommendations for my recent trip to New England.
Responses received were logged and subsequently googled: Mystic Pizza (no-brainer but received poor feedback from reviews), Margarita’s (a chain, oh no!), a place too far out of my way, and Paul’s Pasta Shop.
Paul and Dorothy Fidrych make their own pasta. You can buy uncooked pasta in a variety of shapes, you can order take-out, or you can dine in the home-turned-restaurant or even on the deck overlooking the Thames River and New London, CT on the other side.
I chose the dine-in option. Paul’s is located in Groton, CT not far from Mystic and en route to the upscale outlet mall I planned to while away the hours at that day in Clinton, CT. Easy to locate, I had to turn up a side street to find parking but that was simple enough. I arrived just after 11:00 so I had the place pretty much to myself but that changed quickly.
There are a surprising number of choices at Paul’s on the menu and they have daily specials. One such special captured my heart – yes, you’re right. It includes asparagus.
For around $8, I received a bowl (contents appear smaller then they are when you try to eat it all!) of freshly-made linguine with olive oil, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, asparagus, and shrimp. Accompanying all pasta dishes is a basket of garlic bread. Feeling vegetable-deficient nearing the end of the week, I also ordered a caesar salad for $4. My soda came in a can, but I was given a cup of ice and a straw to make it better.
I had way too much food for one person. I couldn’t finish all of anything. But I sure enjoyed trying! The shrimp were large and plump, the asparagus perfectly crisp-tender and bright green. Fresh makes a difference with pasta…al dente, silky noodles. They were certainly generous with the “sauce” and the sun-dried tomatoes.
The salad was crisp and green with homemade croutons using the same bread in my basket – and they were also generous with the number of these little gems in my salad. I like a lot of croutons.
Where I sat in the front bay window, I could see the pasta machine in the other front window. I wished my girls were with me for the hundredth time that week. They would have loved seeing the sheets of pasta go into the machine and come out as spaghetti, linguine or papardelle. They would have also loved the food – pasta is at the top of their culinary list, right next to cereal.
Also while I ate my meal, there was a whirlwind of activity in this little place – several vehicles loaded up on the street in front with containers of food for what I believed to be catering appointments. There was a steady stream of customers coming in to buy heaps of the pasta and quarts of sauce to take home to their own kitchens. And the dining area began to fill up.
I definitely recommend Paul’s Pasta Shop. Eat in and take some home with you. FOUR FORKS.Paul’s Pasta Shop 223 Thames Street Groton, CT (860)445-5276