Pastabilities: Behind the Scenes

8 Feb

Inside Pastabilities

Gabe Angelone, Manager at Pastabilities

Native of Syracuse

On why Pastabilties’ menu frequently changes

We make a major change to our menu every 6-8 weeks to add variety for the people that dine here.  We always want there to be something new on there for people to try.  Changing up the menu also adds something new for our staff to learn and strengthens their base of knowledge.  We always try to have a lot of fresh, high-quality ingredients on our menu, so we also make changes based on what’s fresh at that time of year.  In the fall, you might see more root vegetables on the menu, while in the winter, there might be more comfort foods or in the summer, there might be lighter ingredients like berries.

Pastabilities' menu always features an array of crowd-pleasing pastas.

There’s a few old standby dishes, some of the salads and some of the pastas, that always stay on the menu.  People have enjoyed these dishes for years and we don’t want people to get upset from not being able to have them.

On how new Pastabilites menus are created

Creating new menus is a collaboration between our chef [Shayne Johnson] and owner [Karyn Korteling.]  They might go over old menus to pick out elements of dishes or they might want to try out a dish they had somewhere or something they’ve been experimenting on at home.  Input on menu changes can also come from anyone on staff.  Some of the cooks have knowledge of dish creation and also assist with creating new dishes.  The idea process starts a few weeks before the new menu and goes right up to the day of the menu change, as there are always lots of last minutes changes.

The menu at Pastabilities changes every 6-8 weeks.

They have to take into consideration how dishes will be for the kitchen to prepare, as well as trying to maintain the Pastabilities taste we’ve come to be known for.  Karyn, the chef and some of the floor staff try the dishes before the menu is finalized.  There might be some adjustments made to the menu on its first day, since it’s hard to work on a lot of new menu items while another menu is ongoing.  The day after the new menu comes out, a staff tasting is held to give everyone a chance to try the new dishes so they can know what they’re serving and be able to answer diners’ questions about the dishes.

On creating the Dining Week menu

We try to offer items on the Dining Week menu that will entice people to come in to Pastabilities during the promotion.

Pastabilities' sales during Dining Week increase about 15%, according to owner Karyn Korteling.

We might look over old Dining Week menus to get ideas for dishes or take elements on the current menu and add something new to them.  We also try to add value to the menu. In past years, we have done this by offering dessert or a drink with the meal.  The Dining Week menu contains dishes that we think are good and that diners will enjoy.

Pastabilities is one of the 22 restaurants participating in AmeriCU Dining Week.  Visit the restaurant at 311 South Franklin Street, call 474-1153 for information or reservations or visit www.pastabilities.com for more information.

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