Best In-House Pasta | Best of Chicago 2012 | Food & Drink | Chicago Reader

Best In-House Pasta 

Pasta made in-house in the house!

Pasta made in-house in the house!

Andrea Bauer

Nellcote

Jared Van Camp's ambitious grain-to-table program, which has the kitchen milling its own flour for bread, pasta, and pizza, achieves its highest pinnacle in the rustic shapes he's hand-rolling and machine-extruding. Camp's southern-Italian-style spaghetti, lightly dressed with tomato and bread crumbs and salted with cured tuna loin shavings, is thick and ruddy with a pronounced nutty flavor, and it sets a new standard for restaurant pasta arts. Similarly, the black squid ink strozzapreti (gnarly cavatelli-like twists tossed with sweet lobster and chile and served cold) and the radiatore (dark brown corkscrews with duck, mushrooms, and pork cracklings) are among the most scarfable peasant-style pastas I've encountered. On the other hand, silky-thin tendrils of champagne-and-creme-fraiche-sauced taglioni, topped with plump oysters, is the luxuriant antipode to those, and every bit as good.

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