With all the bad news for restaurants of lost revenues and wages for employees and owners, here’s a ray of sunlight and good cheer. Gregg Braha and Gina Solazzi are bringing back a smaller version of their much-loved Pasta di Solazzi, which they opened in 1982 and closed in 2001.
At the first location in the Woodmen Shopping Center at Academy Boulevard and Woodmen Road, Solazzi became the queen of homemade pasta and fabulous sauces. The deli brimmed with imported cheese and meats from Italy. With their customer base growing, the husband-and-wife team leaped for a larger space on Centennial Boulevard, near Marigold’s Café and Bakery. They expanded their menu, increased deli options and added seated dining. They even hired a chef from Italy. It was a sad day when they made the decision to close Pasta di Solazi to pursue other careers.
Solazzi and Braha have worked out an arrangement with Kathy Dreiling and partner Michelle Talarico of the Picnic Basket Catering Co., 1701 S. 8th St., to use kitchen space to make pasta, sauces and a few specialty items to sell online for takeout. One specialty dish Solazzi has brought back is her Cheese Torte ($29.95), which was very popular during the holidays as an appetizer. It consists of provolone slices layered with basil and sun-dried tomato pestos, and garlic cream. She makes a limited amount of them and they sell out quickly.
Details: 270-1355, pastadisolazzi.com.
Pasta in a hurry
Will Merwin, chef at Stellina Pizza, 749 E. Willamette Ave., has been perfecting his fresh pasta recipe and techniques. He recently created the Pasta Meal Kit ($32), with ingredients to make pesto spaghetti for two with focaccia bread as a side. You can also add house-made spaghetti, rigatoni and macaroni to takeout orders. Single portion (7 ounces), $3.50; double portion (14 ounces), $7. No delivery fees in December. Details: 220-6406, stellinapizza.co.
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