Life's best gifts—prank calls, the effects of hypnosis, and learning the gender of your komondor's unborn pups—come as a surprise. Bring that joyous emotion to the dinner table with today's Groupon: for $17, you get $37 worth of customized Italian fare at Pasta Freska. 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 the table to welcome guests to his eatery and survey them on their likes and dislikes, favorite dishes, and any food allergies. After the consultation, the versatile chef will retreat to the kitchen to concoct a meal that meets criteria and exceeds expectations. Based on preferences, a customized multicourse meal will arrive at the table, full of fresh Italian flavors and complete with wine pairing and dessert. Prices vary, and dinner usually runs about $22–$27 per person, with most wine choices ranging from $25 to $40 per bottle.
The cozy Westlake eatery is housed in a slender, red-paneled, single-story building, and during each dinner, the unfussy interior glows with candlelight and happy bellies. Call ahead for reservations to this single-story Italy.
"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.