Pasta Supply Co. is the latest creative project from chef Anthony Strong, coming from Prairie, Locanda, and Delfina. He has returned from roaming around in a camper van for a year, and now he’s finally making pasta again. Pasta Supply Co. opened as a retail shop in March, when Strong promised to add dinner service soon. But one month stretched to a few because shoppers kept him busy, with some people coming back multiple times a week. Retail took off with more than 30 shapes of fresh and dried pasta, a dozen different sauces, and pantry staples, such as flatbread, olive oil, tinned fish, and cheese. “The neighborhood here has been amazing,” Strong says. “Since the start, we wanted to be an approachable pasta shop.”
Now it feels like opening all over again, because Strong’s finally firing up dinner service this Wednesday, June 21. The menu, which will switch up slightly week to week, is going to be fairly simple: Five big bowls of pasta for less than 25 bucks. Every night of the week. No reservations are necessary. “You hear all these sky-is-falling stories about San Francisco right now,” Strong says. “But people really want more activated retail. And I would rather open a pasta shop that’s super affordable, and have it open seven nights a week, so we’re always around. People can always swing by.”
Here are the five bowls of pasta from the opening menu:
Mafaldine “butter and cheese”
The bestselling mafaldine stars in an iconic kid dinner of buttered noodles. The most popular shape in the shop has “the slurp-ability of a long noodle and the tongue-tickle of a short frilly one,” Strong says. For dinner, he’s tossing it with fortified butter and parmigiana for a mere $14. Although one could add truffle butter or beef cheeks, if you’re a fancy child.
Maltagliata in basil pesto
On the more traditional side, he’s blitzing a straight-up basil pesto, and sliding it between hand-cut squares of maltagliata. “I really like how it gets in between the folds of a flat pasta, so it’s kind of slippery, a little juicy and messy,” Strong says.
Sweet corn raviolini
Super fresh and seasonal Brentwood corn is folded inside raviolini, the miniaturized version of ravioli, along with a mixture of polenta, mascarpone, and ricotta. The raviolini gets a good stir with briny sauerkraut, fried peppercorns, and glossy butter. “So that dish is basically like you’re eating an ear of corn,” Strong says. “Salt and pepper and butter.”
Lobster Butter Spaghetti
The only bowl above $20 is the lobster spaghetti. Strong roasts the lobster shells, rubs them with fermented chiles, and sinks them into butter. He then tosses that lobster butter with spaghetti, along with the lobster claws and knuckles. Again, you can upgrade and drop an entire lobster tail on top, brushed in Calabrian XO — a “super funky, spicy take on Chinese XO sauce.”
Rigatoni and Lamb Ragu
This old-guard Roman ragu is a tribute to Strong’s mentor Anna Dente. It’s a slow-cooked comfort food tumbling through thick tubes of rigatoni, and finished with a sharp sheep’s milk pecorino and fragrant fresh mint.
Antipasti includes flatbread with “sour cream and onion” burrata or culatello with a snowfall of shaved butter. There are also bitter greens with anchovy vinaigrette, seasonal roasted veggies, and the “lil’ juicy meatballs.” For dessert, stick a spoon into a couple of panna cottas, either a fruity version starring grapefruit drizzled with olive oil, or chocolate infused with Earl Grey cream.
Natural and Italian wines by the glass range between $12 and $16. Bottles are retail price plus $10, if enjoying at the restaurant, while six packs of beer have an add-on of $5 to drink onsite. Sip on a nostalgic soda with Cheerwine, Bubble Up, or Boylan’s Cola. Or, zhuzh up a grapefruit La Croix with an added shot of sea buckthorn shrub.
Strong split the Pasta Supply Co. space down the center, so during the day, shoppers step to the left to order pasta at the counter. Then at night, diners place an order at the door, before getting seated at tables on the right. Strong renovated the dining room himself, putting in only 40 seats. But if there’s a wait, you can enjoy a glass of wine on the bench outside, next to the stroller parking lot.
“You can get in and out in an hour on a Tuesday night with the family,” Strong says. “Or you can also come and splurge on a bottle of Barolo on a Friday. And it’ll be the most affordable bottle of Barolo and lobster spaghetti you could ever imagine.”
Pasta Supply Co. (236 Clement Street) is open for dinner every day from 5 to 9 p.m. Retail shop hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.