One Of The Best Pasta Deals In The FiDi Can Be Found At Pranzo
Everyone knows how cheap pasta is, and how much it costs to throw some sauce on it. That’s why I often have a problem paying $10 for a takeout plate of pasta which I could have made myself for about $2. That being said, there is a somewhat budget-friendly carbo-loading spot in the Financial District, and that would be Pranzo on Water St. (btw. Coenties Slip & Broad). My friend has been telling me that she and her co-workers are always going there for the pasta and since it’s far down in the nether regions of the FiDi it’s easy to forget about. On a day when it wasn’t as hot as the Sahara, I headed over to see if cheap pasta could compete with some of the more expensive options.
The inside (and outside) of Pranzo screams old school pizzeria, and while they do seem to sell a lot of slices, the steam table of pasta beckoned. There is a good variety on the regular menu and there are also daily specials that include pasta with prosciutto and peas on Mondays and some items with seafood for Friday including fried calamari and shrimp parm. And did I mention the prices? You can get a regular of most of the pastas for $5.50, and a large for $6.50 with a couple of options either slightly cheaper or more expensive. I opted for a large serving of the penne with vodka sauce ($6.50) since it was front and center, looking fresh behind the glass despite my late lunching. All of the pastas come with a delicious roll that I suspect is made with leftover pizza dough.
This wasn’t an Olive Garden-sized serving of pasta, no, but it will do you nicely for lunch without leaving you in a food coma. I appreciated that while there was plenty of the pink-hued vodka sauce it wasn’t swimming in it. The sauce itself was pretty good, but I did end up dumping a packet of pepper I had near me on it for a boost out of personal preference. Amazingly, the pasta wasn’t all dried out like you sometimes find on steam tables, showing that they either replenish it somewhat frequently or have high turnover.
The price point on this is right, especially if you don’t mind your pasta coming of a steam table.
Pranzo, 34 Water St. (btw. Broad & Coenties Slip), (212) 344-8068