G.H. Pasta and Pizza is world class food in the neighborhood
By Patrick Robinson
The scope of a chef's ambitions can be expressed in myriad ways from the most simple and basic to high level gourmet. That is only possible from one person if they have both the taste and experience to make it happen.
Chef Brian Clevenger has done just that.
He's the owner of General Harvest restaurants the parent company of the new G.H. Pasta and Pizza at 7500 35th SW. It's a neighborhood spot but it's worthy of being a destination restaurant for people around Seattle.
The food is both uncommon and familiar. For example if you visit a Thai place you might order Phad Thai as a baseline for comparison. We ordered Spaghetti and Rigatoni with House Made Mozzarella with Castelvetrano Tapenade and Crostini as a starter. The cheese is fried but the tapenade also has a lemon zest added.The combination is both comforting and surprising. Citrus and dairy sometimes don't mix well. But here, they do. Creamy, gooey, crunchy with a unique edge.
The drinks there are well curated from the 18 beers and 2 ciders on tap to the wine list, specialty cocktails and even non alcohol choices. The Renato Corino Barbera D'alba red wine and the Apricot Spritzer mocktail were delicious. General Harvest's David English was voted best bartender in Las Vegas...twice in his long career and his experience and taste shines here too.
The main dishes arrived and they are generous portions. You could easily split one and still be very satisfied. You know the term al dente (to the tooth) but for some reason this is somehow not well carried out in many places. Chef Clevenger's preparation should be the textbook definition. These are all house extruded pastas (sorry no gluten free options) so when the pasta is cooked it is gently yielding which makes you pause just long enough to appreciate the pomodoro sauce it is cloaked in, and taste the spices as each bite evolves. The spaghetti is also prepared with beef and pork bolognese, marscapone and mint. The noodles are thick and hearty. This is neighborhood cafe food, graciously elevated. The rigatoni, with a similar but milder sauce, basil and burrata was flavorful, smooth, easy to eat, and keep eating.
For sampling purposes (ha!) we also had "The Classic" pizza with tomato, pepperoni and mozzarella (also house made). The cracker crust holds its integrity even with a lot of toppings in part because they twice cook the pepperoni leaving it crisp, super flavorful and not greasy. That's the move of a chef who gets it.
Also clearly worth noting, our server Charlie was soft spoken, thoughtful, fast and efficient and knew the menu well. He asked our names and was the epitome of good service.
Finally for dessert we opted for the soft serve ice cream (flavors rotate daily) also made in house with toasted milk. What is that? It's condensed milk combined with sugar and flour then baked and toasted. The result is like the inside of a malted milk ball and the combination is great. We saw the Yeasted Doughnut with chocolate sauce go by, looking amazing, but maybe next time. And trust me on this. There will a lot more next times.
There are plans to expand the outdoor dining space into the area on the south side of the restaurant, likely happening by next spring. For now seating is at the bar or in some booths and a couple of tables.
G.H. Pasta and Pizza is open seven days a week from 4pm to 9pm Sun and Monday and from 4pm to 10pm Friday and Saturday.