You may recall that I adore the food at Hops and Vines in Williamstown. We don’t eat out much, but we’ve been there twice since last fall. So, when I found out that the owners of Hops and Vines were opening another restaurant in North Adams, I was very interested. When I heard that the restaurant was going to be an Italian restaurant, I got really excited. It’s no secret that I adore Italian food and my “desert island” food of choice would be spaghetti. On Sunday evening, we had the opportunity to eat dinner at NoCo Pastaria. The NoCo, for those unfamiliar with the area, stands for North County.
The restaurant isn’t very large, but we were already familiar with the location as we enjoyed at least one of the restaurants previously housed at that location. As a result, we were able to appreciate the changes made to the décor. It looks great – check out their Instagram for some great décor shots. We anticipated that the restaurant might be busy, so we called ahead and made reservations for 4: Brian and I, and his parents. This was apparently a wise decision, as the party ahead of us was very frustrated that NoCo would be unable to accommodate their group of 6 for dinner.
I was immediately excited about the menu. NoCo Pastaria “only serves fresh pasta made daily, highlighting locally sourced and seasonally appropriate ingredients”, according to their website. I immediately spotted our CSA, Mighty Food Farm, listed in the ingredients list. Everything sounded good. The beer and wine menu was pretty basic overall and the restaurant has a full bar. Brian and I were really excited to see that our favorite Berkshire brewery, Glass Bottom Brewery, was included and that there is a special brew (NoCo Luppolo Saison) created especially for the restaurant. Unfortunately, they were out of it. So Brian tried the Glass Bottom Brewery Dandelion, which we hadn’t had yet, his father and I enjoyed the house white wine and his mother drank water.
Choosing an entrée was not easy. Ultimately, I settled on the Pesto Lumache (lemon ricotta, pesto, sweet pea, garlic + pine nut crumble, crispy prosciutto). Brian had Lacinato Campanelle (Mighty Food Farm Lacinato Kale, smoked bacon, mushrooms, herb butter, goat cheese) . His mother ordered the Bucatini Carbonara and his dad got Pork Tenderloin Satimbocca. We also ordered an appetizer, the Salumi Plate. It took a bit longer to arrive than expected, but we enjoyed crusty bread with olive oil in the meanwhile. The appetizer was a little awkward for 4 people, as there were 3 pieces of most of the items, but everything tasted great and I wouldn’t have wanted more food prior to the main meal.
We all agreed before ordering that the prices were reasonable and I think we felt even more strongly after we received our meals. This pasta was so good. It was fresh and a little different than what I’ve seen or had before. In the case of my Pesto Lumache, pasta was beautifully cooked and the lemon ricotta was flavorful and bright. Brian, his mother and myself all took home leftovers, which always makes me super happy because then I can enjoy the meal twice. We briefly perused the dessert menu which included ice cream, éclairs and cannoli, but decided to pass this time around. I also have to mention our awesome server, Alex. She was on top of things, a pleasure to talk to and provided excellent service.
Our dinner at NoCo Pastaria was probably one of the best meals out I’ve had in a long time. Brian and I are already scheming ways to find ourselves back at NoCo Pastaria, perhaps just for appetizers, drinks and dessert (because I really want to be sure I have room for dessert). If you’re in the area, I suggest you check it out as well.