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Pastaria Pasta Bar

Italian Dairy Restaurant
184 Ahuza St., Raanana
Tel: 09-773 4383
Kashrut: Rabbanut Raanana. Mehadrin

Open Sunday - Thursday 11:00am – 11:00pm. Fridays: 11:00am till 1.5 hours before Shabbat. Motzai Shabbat: One hour after Shabbat till 11:00pm. Closed Shabbat.

March 2013

Pastaria Kosher Dairy Pasta Bar

Pastaria Pasta Bar is a charming restaurant on Raanana’s Ahuza Street, near Hafetz Hayim Street. As its name suggests, Pastaria is primarily a pasta bar, offering pasta, pizza and salads. 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 owned and run by Hilton Block, who you may recognize from another successful restaurant in Raanana. Hilton is an experienced restaurateur, having run several other restaurants before opening Pastaria. In fact, he ran a pasta bar in Tel Aviv some years ago, so he is no novice. Hilton's goal with Pastaria is to offer high quality food at low prices. In this he succeeds very well.

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 The one-page menu is on the door.

“Simple but effective” describes Pastaria Pasta Bar in every way. The décor is simple and pleasant, with hard wood floors and small tables. The kitchen is open for viewing either inside or from outside in. Packaged food items: bottles of imported olive oil, canned tomato sauce, and bags of coffee, make an attractive display on basic shelves along the length of the restaurant. These items are also for sale, if you must.

Pastaria Pasta Bar gives you good value for your shekel. You can take the family to this restaurant without breaking the bank and be sure to find foods that everyone will eat. Kids meals priced at 18 shekels are served all day – not much lunch money for junior when mom/dad is not available.

Take away and delivery are also available.

There is free parking in the Yavneh School parking lot just behind the restaurant, and street parking.

About Pastaria Pasta Bar From an Reader

Written by 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 starting at NIS 36 to NIS 46. These freshly prepared thin crust pizzas are competitive price wise with pies and slices pre-made at other pizzerias. NIS 36 at Pastaria gets a basic margherita pizza with tomato sauce, mozzarella and parmesan. They have about twenty toppings you can add to customize your pizza. Any three toppings bring your pizza’s price to NIS 45.

For NIS 46 they have four loaded specialty pizzas: a Mediteranean, a Sweet Potato and Mozzarella, a Pomodori arrostiti and Sardina. I’ve only tried the Mediterranean so far and with Tomato sauce, Mozzarella, Parmesan, olives, red onion, fresh arugula (a personal favorite pizza topping) feta cheese and fresh chili, it was pretty close to the pizza I would have designed from their cornucopia of custom choices.

At NIS 44, 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 pastas range from NIS 29 to NIS 46. The NIS 29 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 priced at NIS 41.

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.

Click here for a 10% discount coupon on your next order at Pastaria Pasta Bar Restaurant. Print out this coupon and present it at the restaurant.

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