Bringing you interviews that shine light on the wonderful people behind some of the best restaurants in Bristol, the Pass it On Series look at their stories catching glimpses of their unique personalities. We interview them, and we let them pick who we feature next and we couldn’t think of anyone better than Pasta Loco to get the conversation flowing. Not only have they been nominated as Bristol’s best restaurant, but they’re some of the nicest guys around town.
So here’s to Pasta Loco!
So, Pasta Loco opened with tons of hype and a year later, there’s no sign of it dying down! Having received such positive responses, what’s it been like for you guys?
It fully exceeded any expectations and to be honest, the boys find it quite overwhelming most of the time. It has given them a great platform to share their passions and shine a light on other venues whom they love and respect!
You have a very modern take on Italian food, where does your inspiration come from?
Ben spent time in Italy learning the old school tricks of the trade. Having traveled the world (and worked in various places), he spends a lot of time creating new fusion dishes. The body of the menu starts with a classic Italian inspiration with a Bristolian twist! Our mix of flavours is inspired by past experiences as well as local surroundings and community.
What has been the stand-out moment for you guys during Pasta Loco’s first year?
There’s been a few – the three most positive would be: our first review from Mark Taylor, being asked by Bristol’s favourite son to open a venue with them, and our latest review from legend Peter Sanchez. His open praise of us is really quite special!
And I’m sure winning Foozie’s ‘Best New Opening’ award in 2016 was a close fourth 😉
How did you come up with the name Pasta Loco? Did you have any other in mind?
Ben had been mulling over a few names… but it was an inspired evening spent looking after his young twin daughters that brought about the name Pasta Loco. Betsy and Annie-May were testing their dad’s patience to the max, screaming, crying, arguing and just generally being miserable toddlers. This behaviour stopped when Ben presented the girls with their dinner: a plate of pasta. At this point, Ben described his daughters as the Loco twins, only to be calmed by Pasta and thus, Pasta Loco was realised.
Your front of house is undoubtedly one of, if not the best, in Bristol! What’s the secret to making people feel so good?
Dom’s had a wide variety of experiences from pubs, to 5-star day spa’s, to top 100 restaurants. Mix that with Ruth’s familiar approach to Bristol’s dining scene and you’ve got the perfect combination. They both love what they do and want people around them to let go of any inhibitions they may have when it comes to eating out – it’s simply an extension of a dinner party we throw.
Missing his partner in crime @chef.ben.harvey but still dealing with the difficult task ahead of him 😉 @dominicborel1 continues the search for the perfect #lombardia #wine to join the #family at #pastalocobristol – hard life. If you visit #lakecomo you must come here. A family favourite! #italianwine #cantinafollie #wine #lagodicomo
Got any exciting exclusives for us?
There’s been a big outcry for us to expand and open up in different areas. Bristol, on the whole, is in a bit of a rush to open and follow the trend. What the boys are mindful of is that they don’t take their energy and focus away from the original Pasta Loco. However, they are keeping their ears to the ground and a close eye on the scene. Who knows, you may be able to buy Ben’s pasta online soon…
#benharvey once again flicking through his #recipebook to see which of his naughty creations will make the opening menu… #handmade #squidink #linguine slow roast cherry tomato & chilli pulp, #clams pan roasted #whitebait #olive #pangrattato & #ricotta – seriously… #bianchicousins #pastalocobristol #bristolfoodies #bristolrestaurants
24-hours in Bristol – Where do you go and where do you eat?
Good question! We think Bristolians are almost spoilt for choice now… Breakfast would be Katie & Kim’s on Picton St. Lunch is always nice to spend at Wilson’s on Chandos Rd or Box E. Dinner is difficult, between Adelina Yard, Bulrush & Paco the choice is a tough one, all depends on what we have a craving for…. Midnight snacks are always great at Mayflower!
Favourite team Pasta Loco bar?
Dom loves a good cocktail at Redlight… they know what they’re doing! The Rummer also has a great selection and The Milk Thistle has great vibes.
As this is a pass-it-on interview, you get to decide who we interview next. What restaurant or chef would you like us to interview?
Has to be Olivia Barry from Adelina Yard as Jamie is usually the man heading the kitchen up, Olivia needs the light on her as her talent is incredible!