Pasita embodies the essence of the West Village dining scene: cozy, top quality, friendly service, casual. On the corner of 8th Avenue and W.4th St, the railroad space oozes charm with an open kitchen (including a burning brick pizza oven), a tiny wine bar, handsome and soft-spoken waiters, soft live Spanish guitar, and a healthy dose of exposed brick. It’s the perfect storm of sensual music, delicious interactive food, unobtrusive service, and a laidback vibe.
Although I had already fallen hard for Pasita just by stepping in the door, I really knew I’d found true love when I tried their French-Venezuelan menu, focused on flatbread pizzas and mezze starters called Pasapalos. The food isn’t complicated or ‘haute’; it is satisfying and heart-warming. The flatbreads are innovative with fun flavor combinations like spiced beef, manchego and red pepper or pesto, roasted squash, arugula, and mozzarella. The small plates include arepitas (sand dollar-sized arepas), tequenos, yuca frites, and empanaditas. The tequenos are my personal favorite – dressed-up mozzarella sticks, they are delightfully gooey and downright delicious.
To wax poetic for a moment, the flatbreads are divine. Bursting with Spanish-inspired flavors and made with a soft and doughy yet crispy in exactly the right spots crust, they just hit the spot. They master the art of flavor manipulation, tantalizing with savory, sweet, and salty components. The Queso Valdeon variation is made for cheese-heads. Loaded with valdeon, parmesan, goat cheese, mozzarella, nata, fresh rosemary and a side of honey, this white pizza is a gooey cheese sensation, both marvelously savory and sweet. The Ropa Vieja is meaty and intense, with sharp manchego cheese, sweet caramelized onions, and spiced beef.
I’m a big fan of high-end pizza for dates because of the interactive sharing aspect; and trust me, Pasita’s funky flatbreads and sexy Latin vibe make this hole-in-the-wall gem the ultimate casual date spot. Split a bottle of the South American & Iberian wines with your date, share a basket of tequenos and a pesto & squash flatbread, and just relax to the sweet live tunes.