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The bar at Pasta Fresca

It’s official: I am old. I’ve joined a book club. And while this term might send shivers down any literary nerd’s spine (guilty as charged…), the main goal of this book club is to hang out, enjoy a nice meal and a glass of wine (or three – who’s counting?!?), and maybe get around to talking about the book we were supposed to have read. My kind of group.

Book Club ladies

So last night we took our books (The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern) to Pasta Fresca for a carb-load and light discussion of a really fun fantasy novel.

The Night Circus is about a circus that shows up unannounced in various towns and opens precisely at midnight and closes at dawn for the duration of its stay, before unceremoniously disappearing and showing up in another town. The circus boasts fantastical magicians, timepieces, contortionists and other seems-a-little-too-real-to-be-illusion performers, leaving its visitors in absolute wonderment. But the circus also happens to be the stage of a dark magical competition – unbeknownst to anyone but the magicians involved. The book is a nice, light summer read. If you enjoy fantastical stories, I highly recommend this book.

Pasta Fresca’s Chicken Lasagna

If fantasy novels really aren’t your thing, I still highly recommend Pasta Fresca on Forest Drive. The Seafood Santa Fe is my absolute favorite carbolicious entrée on the menu, but I will also say that the Chicken Lasagna and the Seafood Gorgonzola are also quite fabulous. My companions also raved about the Paglio Fieno.

And the Bruschetta. Stop it. The bread is soft, but crispy, and each bite bursts with the flavors of fresh tomatoes and garlic (word to the wise, don’t plan on close-talking with anyone after this particular app…), topped with shredded cheese. The Cheesy Bruschetta is also good, but my advice is to skip the extra 300 calories or so and just stick with the original. It’s to die for.

If you’re trying to cut down on carbs (and really, who isn’t these days…) Pasta Fresca still has some fabulous options. A couple of ladies in our group ordered the Salmon Checca Salad, which was a gorgeous bed of bright green lettuce topped with a steaming grilled salmon filet. I was almost jealous – until I took a bite of my Chicken Lasagna!! Pasta Fresca will also put pretty much any dish on a bed of spinach for you instead of pasta (though I think the lasagnas would be a little difficult to disassemble…), which can be a great and healthy alternative. Clearly, I’m not that strong…

The portions are tremendous (hello, leftovers!), and there is a small fee for splitting, but I’d still say that is the way to go because they give you an extra side salad – do the math: it comes out to about the same price. You can also upgrade your salad to the Crab Bisque Soup, which I highly recommend when it’s not like 1,000 degrees outside. Meet me there this fall?

If you do head over there, tell ’em ColaTownTourist sent you!