2120 Edgewater Drive | 407-985-2577 | facebook.com/TreviPastaLLC | $$
It seems there was an expectation among College Park residents that a pâtisserie would open in the space where pâtisseries – namely, Delights of Benezit and Les Petits Pleasures – previously stood. But then one cold December day, the windows at 2120 Edgewater Drive were plastered with the promise of fresh-cut pasta, gelato, espresso and gourmet Italian market items. Our collective pause was soon followed by an eager enthusiasm – particularly after the closure of Taste, a longtime fixture in the neighborhood, followed by the disappointment of the Hangar Bar & Grille. But the father-daughter team of Angelo and Vanessa Falcone was determined to reverse the tide.
For one, the duo brings a lot of experience and know-how to College Park – Angelo has operated trattorias and gelaterias in Rome, Miami and Caracas; Vanessa, who was raised here in Orlando, studied the art of pasta-making in Caserta, near Napoli. Secondly, the Falcones forged a bond with residents prior to officially opening. When curious passers-by (present company included) peeked their heads into the restaurant, they were often welcomed in and given half-pound samples of Trevi’s fresh-made, -rolled and -cut pasta.
Aside from the sheer variety of shapes (fusilli, paccheri, pappardelle and tagliatelle, to name a few), flavors (garlic, rosemary, peperoncino, spinach, lemon-basil and more) and types (spinach, beet, carrot, tricolor, egg, etc.) of pasta, convenience seemed to be a factor equally as important. Many of Trevi’s customers opt to purchase their pasta with the intent to cook it at home, and why not? The fresh stuff takes just three to five minutes to cook; if you also purchase a tub of fresh-made sauce (typically, four varieties are offered each day), you’ve got yourself a made-from-scratch five-minute meal the whole family can enjoy. I’ve picked up a pound of pasta ($8.98), along with a superlative tomato-basil sauce ($5.98 for 8 ounces; $9.96 for 16 ounces), arrabbiata or funghi cream sauce with portobello, porcini and prosciutto, on many a drive home. Infused pastas (garlic, rosemary, peperoncino and the like) cost $1 more per pound.
The Falcones’ top-of-the-line pasta machines can churn out 200 pounds of fresh pasta in an hour, while their ravioli machine can customize fillings. On one occasion, we chose to dine inside the colorful little caffé and were subsequently wowed by a plate of the stuffed squares fattened with ricotta ($13.98), drizzled with a little olive oil, then layered with artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes. Tagliatelle topped with a sublime pomodoro-basilico and shaved Parmesan ($12.98) was another gloriously simple rendition enjoyed on the same occasion. We managed to find room on the table for plates of antipasti comprising peperoncino, corpulent olives and garlicky grilled red peppers. Vanessa also fashions serviceable dolci, like tiramisu ($6.98), limoncello cake ($6.98) and Nutella cheesecake ($6.98), though not ending with gelato ($4.95) or, better yet, an affogato ($6.95), would be an utter shame.
Chocolate pasta ($9.98) is also available if you haven’t had your fill.
Be sure to browse the shelves, where you can pick up everything from olive oil and pickled eggplant to considerably pricier items like black truffle sauce, truffled salt, truffled flour, truffle honey and many more truffled treats. The Falcones are keen to source area restaurants with pasta, and some, like the Fiorenzo Italian Steakhouse at the Hyatt Regency, have already signed on. Pound for pound, the Falcones’ pastas are unbeatable, and if dinner calls for the Italian staple, I’m heading to Trevi. Quo vadis?