Steals and deals: Shaun’s Sunday pasta nights

posted on September 15, 2009 at 6:21 am

Shaun Doty and my belly have had somewhat of a weird relationship. I always approach his restaurant with great caution because the quality–both food and service–swings wildly from excellent to mediocre. When his cooking is spot-on, I can’t believe I ever doubted him as a chef and restaurateur. But there are other times when I’m reminded just how inconsistent this restaurant can be. Well, I’ve finally hit the restaurant’s sweet spot: Shaun’s Sunday pasta nights.

Shaun's pasta night
For a seriously low price ($12/person), you get family style salad, your choice of pasta and small cup of ice cream. There are also some reasonably priced carafes, bottles and glasses of wine. And it’s kid-friendly to boot (see the picture above).
Shaun's pasta night
Some beautiful (and crunchy) gem lettuce, radicchio and sprouts drizzled with a light buttermilk dressing.
Shaun's pasta night
On this particular night, I went with the spaghetti and meatballs. The noodles were nothing special, but the bright tomato sauce and meatballs–the best in Atlanta, people–made the dish crave-inducing. And the portion was so big I couldn’t finish it. Moon had a pasta dish dressed in the most amazing slow-cooked chicken ragu. I need that recipe.
Shaun's pasta night
A little glass jar filled with homemade vanilla “gelato.”
Our experience was an overall success with a few snags I’d like to see addressed. We had to ask for bread, which we were told is only served when the customer requests it. Family style Italian at a long wooden table screams for a a bowl of parmesan and a hunk of bread. It might not be cost efficient, but it is a nice enhancement (especially if it is homemade). For the record: the basket that did arrive had some butted and rye toast straight out of the toaster/oven/fry pan. Toasted rye bread+butter=music to my mouth.
My other issue was with the service–something I have always struggled with at Shaun’s. After taking our order, the waiter practically disappeared. The last time we saw him, he sloshed the contents of our carafe into our glasses (and onto my hand) before vanishing. I guess our total check wasn’t big enough to warrant the extra attention?
Aside from my whining about the service, I have to say Doty has really got himself something special going with these pasta nights. Between the presentation, the quality of the cooking and the open kitchen where Shaun is actually doing the cooking, the restaurant has all the markings of a home-cooked meal that’s appealing whether you’re too lazy too cook, feeling kind of homesick or just in the mood to leisure away the dwindling weekend hours with loved ones. Moon took the words out of my mouth when he said, “he should do this every night of the week.”
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One comment

  • Re: Steals and deals: Shaun’s Sunday pasta nights
    posted by: Anonymous · September 15, 2009  6:42 AM

    Is that your hunk Moon?

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