Trattoria La PastaNovember, 2014

“We’ve changed everything…and nothing,” says Alessandro Dolfi, proprietor of this authentic Italian trattoria. “Little by little we have added more seating areas, an open kitchen, and a very cozy bar on the second floor…and we now have pizza on our menu. But what we have not changed, and never will…is our philosophy of high quality food at fair prices. The menu has not changed much, with the majority of prices between 110 – 130 pesos. Everything is homemade and 80% of our ingredients are organic.”

Alessandro is a restauranteur who grew up in his grandmother Anna’s kitchen (she owned a trattoria in Pisa). When she died three years ago at age 100, she left him her personal recipe book…with her own recipes and those of HER grandmother. Trattoria La Pasta still uses those recipes today.

Alessandro personally trained his chefs, who prepare the meals according to his high standards. Alessandro and his wife Romina (Argentinian but “Italian at heart”) love to greet and interact with the customers. Most of them are people who live in Mérida and come back to Trattoria La Pasta over and over again because they love the food, ambience, service, and excellent value. “We all have fun working here,” says Romina. “Our customers notice that, and it is one of the reasons they love to eat here.”

The setting on Paseo de Montejo is part of the appeal. Its sidewalk tables are perfect for people-watching, or you can choose a table in one of three interior rooms, one of which is a romantic space with only tables for two.

Lunch is served from 12 to 5 pm, and then the restaurant closes to prepare for the dinner hour. Dinner is served from 7.30 pm until midnight. Or…if you are hungry later at night, you can go to Karma, the upstairs terrace bar also overlooking Paseo de Montejo. It’s the same menu, but you can eat until 3 am, while the DJ plays tributes to the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s with great music to dance to. Another option is to have dinner downstairs and then move upstairs for drinks and dancing.

The menu offers salads, appetizers, thin crust pizza, pasta, meat, seafood, specialties of the house (including an eight-layer lasagne), and desserts (including homemade tiramisu). There is a full bar and a great selection of beers and wines.

“We take the trouble to find organic ingredients wherever we can,” explains Alessandro. “Mozzarrella cheese handmade in Valladolid, imported organic free range beef and pork, fresh organic arugula…these are just a few examples.” And there are 15 different varieties of pasta made fresh in their kitchen every single day.

“There are many Italian restaurants in Mérida, and I love to eat at several of them,” says Alessandro. “But what sets us apart, I think, is that we put our heart and soul into every dish.”

Hours: Monday to Saturday
12 pm – 5 pm and 7:30 pm – 12 am (3 am in Karma). Sunday closed.

Paseo de Montejo #481 x 39 y 41, Centro
Tel. (999) 157 8986

App store (free): Trattoria La Pasta

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