Pastaria Kosher Dairy Pasta Bar
Pastaria Pasta Bar is a charming restaurant on Raanana’s Ahuza Street, at the corner of Hafetz Hayim Street. As its name suggests, Pastaria is primarily a pasta bar, offering pasta, pizza, salads and fish. There are several varieties in each category, but the calling card of the restaurant is the warm family-style atmosphere with foods that everyone - young and old – enjoy, at very reasonable prices. Pastaria is an informal family restaurant.
Pastaria is owned and run by Hilton Block, who you may recognize from Luzzatto Restaurant at the East end of Ahuza Street is Hilton's Meat restaurant., another successful restaurant in Raanana. Hilton is an experienced restaurateur, having run several other restaurants before opening Pastaria.
Pastaria is attractive and inviting, with a comfortable indoor area and spacious street side seating facing Ahuza. A full wall of windows gives you a great street view of the indoor cooking and dining space.
“Simple but effective” describes Pastaria Pasta Bar in every way. The décor is simple and pleasant, with hard wood floors and small tables put together for groups. The kitchen is open for viewing either inside or from outside in.
eLuna visits Pastaria:
Pastaria is often our choice when we sit-down with friends for a light meal. The pleasant atmosphere, good service, good food, and reasonable prices make this a favorite restaurant in Raanana. Portions are filling and generous, and sharing them is part of the fun. Our favorite dishes are the lasagna, the pizza and the salads.
"Careful, it is hot" you will be warned as the lasagna is delivered to the table. This generous dish, rich in vegetables and cheese, is a favorite. The thin-crusted pizza is a winner for both adults and children. We like the home made feel of the pizza, so different from the industrial pizzas. One of our favorites is the Pastaria salads. Simple, but tasty, as a main course or as a side salad to a main , we always enjoy Pastaria salads. We like the combinations of vegetables and the generous sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. I have incorporated a few ideas from Pastaria to my salads at home.
The desserts at Pastaria are something else. These are the specialty of the restaurant, not to be missed.
When we dine at Pastaria we get good value for the shekel. Families can dine at Pastaria without breaking the bank. Be sure that there will be foods that everyone will eat. There are specially priced kids meals .
From the menu: Vegetable salads NIS 38 - 50.Pasta dishes approx NIS 50.Basic pizza NIS 45. Specialty pizzas NIS 55 - 60. Vegetable Lasagna NIS 58. Fish NIS 85 - 92.
Take away and delivery are also available.
Free parking in the Yavneh School parking lot just behind the restaurant, and street parking.
About Pastaria Pasta Bar From an eLuna.com Reader
David Rhodes. Food and wine writer
One of my regular respites is just down the street from my abode in Raanana, the Pastaria Pasta Bar. It stands out as something special against the proliferation of franchised pasta bars and pizzerias that can be found on every main street in almost every major Israeli city and suburb. Located at the intersection of Hafitz Hayim and Ahuza (Ra’anana’s main drag), it’s easy to find by looking for #11 in yellow on traffic lights on Ahuza. There is free parking in the back which they share with the neighboring Burger Bar.
The South African born proprietor Hilton Block, was one of the founders of the well respected Italian Rustico Italian eateries in Tel Aviv. Pastaria is a mehadrin kosher version of Rustico that’s more family friendly than the younger hipper Rusticos. Hilton became more sensitive to catering to the needs of families with the recent start of his own family and their young children. Complementing an expansive menu for adults is Pastaria’s kid’s menu which is more interesting than most pasta bars or cafés with a choice of either easy eating penne or spoon twirling linguini with a choice of cream, tomato, rosé (a combo or tomato & rosé) and butter or olive oil.
Embracing an inclusive hospitality, Pastaria’s business lunches are served from noon to 5PM Sundays through Thursdays which appeal to working class adults For only NIS 15 above the price of any salad, pasta, focaccia ,pizza or fish dish a diner can get a first course and a cold or hot drink. The first courses include a choice of a green salad, caesar salad or soup.
The last time I had the business lunch I enjoyed the fish of the day, a perfectly prepared pan fried salmon filet with a vegetable medley. The salmon was prepared crispy on the outside yet tender and savory on the inside. After pan frying in olive oil, it was flashed with a blast in the oven which helped seal in the flavors through and through. One of the best pieces of salmon I had in a while and since Pastaria has no corkage fee, I’m sure to bring a bottle of kosher Pinot Noir on a future visit or even a Sauvignon Blanc or Rosé.
Pastaria is also a nice safe place for your teens to get a pizza. These freshly prepared thin crust pizzas are competitive price wise with pies and slices pre-made at other pizzerias. The basic Pastaria pizza is the margherita pizza with tomato sauce, mozzarella and parmesan. They have about twenty toppings you can add to customize your pizza. .
The Niocoise salad is also a personal favorite with fresh greens, cherry tomatoes (an Israeli invention) olives, hardboiled egg with a citrus dressing is served with your choice of salmon or tuna. The citric dressing is a great acidic partner for either fish and its a healthy salad loaded with protein which as I writer I crave for fueling my creative juices.
Of course, how do you not try the pastas at a pasta bar called Pastaria. The Aglio Olio is a sentimental favorite as it reminds me of how I ate pasta as a kid with only garlic, butter and salt. Pastaria’s version is the grown up version of mine with healthier olive oil replacing the butter, garlic, parsley (and in Israel parsley is so flavorful and not just a garnish) and chili for a little heat. The Cream Mushroom pasta is my more indulgent pasta pick with a cream sauce, mushrooms, white wine, garlic and Parmesan.
Pastaria is also a great first date spot since service is quick in case things are going bad and if you hit it off they have tiramisu, chocolate mousse or cheese cake for dessert to prolong your pleasurable pairing.
Fresh, fast, friendly, flavorful and affordable is a winning combination that Pastaria is providing in Raanana and I’m happy to stop in coming or going from my nearby home.