Life's best gifts—prank calls, the effects of hypnosis, and learning the sex of your Komondor's unborn pup—come as a surprise. Today's Groupon brings that joyous emotion to the dinner table: for $17, you get $40 worth of customized Italian fare and more at Pasta Freska. This Groupon is only valid during dinner, and the restaurant is closed Sundays for private parties and staff-wide potato-sack races.
A dinner at Pasta Freska begins when the ebullient Chef Mike Horri personally arrives at your table to welcome you to his eatery and survey you on your likes and dislikes, your favorite foods, and which eats cause allergies or uncontrollable frowny faces. After the consultation, your versatile chef will retreat to the kitchen to concoct a meal that meets your criteria and exceeds your expectations. Based on your preferences, a customized multicourse meal will arrive at your table, full of fresh Italian flavors, complete with wine pairing and dessert. Prices vary, and dinner usually runs about $22 to $27 per person, with wine choices mostly ranging from $40 to $50 per bottle.
The cozy Queen Anne eatery is housed in a slender, red-paneled, single-story building, and each dinner the unfussy interior coolly glows with candlelight and happy bellies. Venture over to this single-structure Italy for the edible version of a Choose Your Own Adventure novel, only with a lower likelihood of choosing poorly and ending up inside the Yeti's cave. Call ahead for reservations, which are required on weekends and recommended on weeknights.
- Mike Horri happily juggles the roles of entertainer and chef, sommelier and front-of-the-house tease. The ebullient owner of Pasta Freska is like your goofy uncle, his in-your-face charm winning legions of fans, many of them regulars mugging for the snapshots that are tacked to one wall near the entry of this humble, 10-year-old restaurant on Westlake. – Leslie Kelly, Seattle P-I
- Desiring a taste of the evening experience, I left myself in Horri's hands for a sweet finisher and was properly wowed when he emerged with the Heavy Cream Triumverate: a little slice of Key lime/white chocolate cheesecake, a little slice of sour cream chocolate cake drizzled with strawberry sauce and a scooplet of spumoni. If this is what it's like letting Horri determine my culinary fate, I'll be back for dinner tonight. – Kathryn Robinson, Seattle Times
- You will be delightfully surprised at the wonderful dishes that Mike has come up with. His wine selection is also one of the best in town and is low in price! On top of everything you can't beat hanging out with Mike in his restuarant [sic]. You seriously get a show with dinner! I highly recommend to anyone who is wanting an unforgettable dining experience. – Sailmoe, Citysearch
"I put myself in the loving hands of owner/chef Mike Horri, who invited this stranger into his humble, candlelit abode, took a survey of my likes and dislikes ("I hate beef liver," I admitted), and spent the rest of my stay doing what he does best: surprising his guests," raves a restaurant reviewer from the Seattle Times. Meals at Pasta Freska always come with hearty helpings of surprise, as there is no printed menu and Mike simply serves what he thinks will delight the palates and bellies of his guests, based on their general preferences. Small Italian courses wander through the realms of antipasto, salad, pasta, seafood, and meat, with culinary accommodations made for vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and all-onion diets. More than 100 varieties of wine vie for the opportunity to complement meals.