My favorite thing about cities, like Lexington, with good food scenes, is that you can find interesting places to eat in the most unassuming places. Pasta Garage is located on a small side street off of Winchester Road near the JIF Peanut Butter factory. While not on a road many would take often, this isn’t a hole-in-the-wall restaurant. In fact, this restaurant seems to own the entire remodeled building.

Wall Menu

The aesthetic can best be described as modern factory. A large chalkboard with hand written menu items surrounded by drawings of small kinds of pasta and cogs immediately draws the eye towards the order window. In keeping with the “factory” look, larger cogs hang from the ceiling and are also painted on the walls and windows. It evokes an image of machines used to make streams of fresh pasta.

Beyond the items on the chalkboard, their menu has a wide variety of chef’s picks and a Build Your Own dish option. I decided to go with the Ragu Alla Bolognese, an order of cheese breadsticks, and tiramisu. You are given one of those buzzer drink coasters and find a seat while you wait for your food to arrive at the Pick-Up window.

Ragu Alla Bolognese

I started with the main dish of ragu served on papardelle pasta with parmesan cheese on top ($11.49). This is the first time I can say that I’ve ever had papardelle pasta before and it was wonderful. It was cooked perfectly al dente, having that bit of snap when bitten into. This is a very wide pasta compared to even an alfredo noodle and does a great job keeping the ragu sauce coated on itself. The ragu alla bolognese was an elevated version of the classic American cooked meat and spaghetti sauce we all grew up on. In addition, the dish came with a wonderful breadstick that was both soft in the middle and had a great crust cooked with familiar Italian herbs. The dish was very quickly finished with little left on the plate (7.5/10).

Cheese Breadsticks

I moved on to the cheese breadsticks ($5.99), which luckily still were warm after my laser focus on the pasta. I’m not sure if these were made from the same breadsticks that were served with the pasta or not. They seemed to be the bottom half of a larger loaf. The bread had a great crunch to it from all it’s toasted air bubbles yet still wasn’t dry. Melted on top was a mixture of parmesan and mozzarella cheese. I had mine with both melted garlic butter and a marinara sauce. Overall these breadsticks were only a slight improvement from what you might get at other Italian restaurants though the marinara sauce was nice with it not being too sweet or acidic (5.5/10).


Finally, I moved on to the Tiramisu ($6.00). I absolutely love tiramisu and all chilled deserts, particularly after a filling warm meal. From top to bottom, the tiramisu had a VERY generous coating of cocoa powder, the sweetened mascarpone filling was delicious, and the coffee-soaked ladyfingers were a little dry but still soft. Even with some minor faults, it was a pretty good tiramisu (6/10).

Italian restaurants seem to exist on a spectrum. On one side, you have the classic chain restaurants that serve massive portions but lack much passion behind them, and on the other side, you have the high-end restaurants that focus on serving as authentic an Italian meal as they can, often at a much higher price. I feel like Pasta Garage is able to find itself in a comfortable middle between these two ends. I appreciate the use of local handmade pasta and attention to detail while also realizing that much of their menu are those easy to get into tomato and cream sauce dishes. If you’re wanting to take friends out to a good lunch or dinner and want to support local businesses, I can say that Pasta Garage should be on the shortlist.