223 Daniel Webster Hwy (Rt 3)
Belmont, NH 03220
Even the Restaurant Guy takes vacation, and this summer a trip to New Hampshire’s Lakes Region was on the menu. On the first day, luck would have me having dinner with a New Hampshire state representative. When asked for a recommendation for a “great new” restaurant, he immediately pointed me in the direction of The Pasta Patio in Belmont (near the Belknap Mall between Lake Winnisquam and Lake Winnipesaukee, in the former Garden Oasis location.)
The restaurant opened January 16, 2012 and is owned/run by Shawn Broers, a 24-year-old business major at Lakes Region Community College. It would appear Mr. Broers has more to learn about running a restaurant.
The restaurant looks like a former fast food place (Dunkin’? Taco Bell?). In fact, the drive through lane and windows are still in place. They’ve applied stucco to the building, and built a 48-seat outdoor patio popular on the night I visited. The inside is reminiscent of an Olive Garden.
Entering the less-than-busy restaurant, I was not greeted by anyone. Seeing a small bar area, I headed over for a chair and a cool beverage. Already served a bev and looking at a menu, I chuckled when a waitress yelled over, “I’ll be right with you.”
Seeing I was the only person at the bar, the waitress asked if I would like another TV station on the large flat panel. “Nice touch,” I thought and then expressed, “Let’s watch the Olympics.”
With my order placed, I was quickly served a bowl of salad. The salad was plentiful and superb, and was quickly enjoyed.
My baked stuffed lobster, ordered from the special menu, had a great presentation, including a baked potato and broccoli. One bite was all it took to discover it was cold. Blech!
As I wondered where the waitress was, another guy came in and sat at the bar, ordered a Coke, and immediately asked the bartender to change the channel on the TV. He then disappeared into the kitchen. What started out as a positive was now going very bad.
My waitress instantly appeared, and I asked who the guy was that just came in and went to the kitchen. She informed he is a waiter there, and immediately turned Women’s Beach Volleyball back on. She was aghast (I felt sorry for her) when I mentioned my baked stuffed was cold. She offered to replace with anything on the menu, or to prepare another. I went for the do-over.
Mr. Coke-drinking-TV-commanding-waiter-dude returned and started a telephone conversation with the limo company about his driving schedule for the next day. How ironic…I was interviewed by an international publication on the prior Saturday regarding electronic device use in restaurants…insisting phone calls should be held away from other patrons. (It seems his driving services would not be needed.)
The do-over baked stuff lobster was hot, and an interesting preparation. My experience is lobster meat is scooped out, mixed with something (in this case bread crumbs) and then “stuffed” in the lobster before baking. At Pasta Patio the tail is split, and the bread crumbs spread on the top. So once the bread crumbs were gone, I then had to break the tail, and scoop out the lobster meat. Odd.
The bartender recommended the Red Velvet cake for dessert. It was “ok” for a commercial bakery cake, and not worth the calories.
I had high hopes for the Pasta Patio, and in the end was fairly disappointed. The website says they are roughly 20 percent complete…and while the percentage complete may be debatable the overall experience is not. Fratellos in Laconia is a far better alternative for Italian.
Daily 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
The Pasta Patio gets a
Red Light – Save your time and money
About the RAG scale:
Green Light – Go and enjoy
Amber Light – Use caution
Red Light – Save your time and money