When I tell people that I’ve had a lifelong, passionate relationship with food, they immediately inquire about all of New York’s newfangled, au courant restaurants; they ask me my thoughts on famous chefs with television shows; they want to discuss, in excruciating detail, eateries where one has to wait a month to set foot in the door.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Let me make something very clear. I love FOOD, not the fanfare and confetti of securing a coveted reservation, of spending $800 eating off an empty plate, whose contents vaguely resemble a Cubist painting. I don’t have time to be on hold. I have no patience for long lines. I get confused when a plate of pasta cost a million dollars when I can make a pot of bolognese for under $15. Perhaps all of this adventure, the thrill of the chase, might have been appealing when I was 25. But come to think of it, even at 25 I was irritated whenever I spent a considerable amount of money on a night out in a restaurant that had a lot of hype and a lot of crap on the plate.
Suffice it to say, I am a shameless creature of habit when it comes to dining out. Once I find a restaurant I like I’m loyal beyond measure. Why risk my hard-earned money on tepid beef? Soggy noodles? Stringy chicken? Boggles the mind.
So although I’m adventurous when it comes to bakeries, I’m risk-averse when it comes to restaurants. When my work colleague recommended Pasta Cosy, I spent an hour reading reviews online. After booking a reservation, I arrived promptly at opening (7PM — the French tend to take a few hours off during the day between lunch and dinner, so you’re relegated to eating on their clock), and was greeted by the effusive Fabien, who sat down beside me and talked me through the menu. Instantly I liked him because he talked about food the way I do — with passion, a little mania, a lot of love.
Located on a side street away of the pomp of the al fresco eateries, Pasta Cosy is modest in decor but abundant in color. A menu that takes a light-hearted approach in combining French flavor and seasoning in Italian classics, you’ll find wonderful juxtapositions and unexpected flavor plays (Provençal meets Naples). The combinations and ingredients take center stage at Pasta Cosy: chorizo and gorgonzola, truffles and brie, risotto with lavender and scallops, foie gras pasta, etc. I fell in LOVE with the “purse-shaped” pasta stuffed with sautéed pears dressed in a light gorgonzola cream sauce and finished with bread crumbs. Light, luscious and completely filling.
There are so many dining horror stories in Aix (I’ve read them all and experienced a few duds), but Pasta Cosy will not disappoint.