There's a difference between a local spot to grab a quick, convenient bowl of pasta, and pasta worth travelling for. That being said, we won't disown our friends who live in the building upstairs and offered up Novita as a suggestion. God knows I've routinely eaten some slop over the years just because it was easy, but I wouldn't recommend that slop to my friends. If you live in the neighborhood, Novita is a nice local hang with great service and reasonable food - we just wouldn't recommend going out of your way for it.
We knew going in that Novita attracted an older, more sophisticated crowd, and as expected, we looked like preschoolers compared to the other clientele. While some of the food was certainly good enough, we were expecting more. The damage was $80 a head (with a couple glasses of wine each), unfinished plates of pasta, and six people in need of a bathroom immediately. Also, it doesn't help their cause that BLT Prime sits in plain sight across the street. All I could think about the entire meal (except for how awesome it was when our waiter said "oct-ooo-pusss" in his amazing accent) were BLT's holy popovers.
Grilled Salmon Salad
A pleasantly large serving of grilled salmon chunks served atop a bed of haricot vert and fingerling potatoes. For $10, it's a thrifty buy. Unfortunately, the salmon looked and tasted like it was pulled off the hot buffet at your Midtown bodega/deli.
Calamari stuffed with Shrimp
We were excited about the possibilities here, but unfortunately this dish fell a little flat. The concept is great, but the flavors just a little bland for our liking.
Goat Cheese Salad
Served over arugula with walnut vinaigrette, this did not disappoint. The goat cheese was extra creamy and this was another large serving.
Spinach & Ricotta Stuffed Tortellini with Kobe Beef Ragu
Trust me, this special sounds way better than it actually is. You'll have had enough after four forkfuls of this incredibly rich dish. Also, the beef ragu could have contained any type of beef, as you couldn't tell that it was Kobe-style.
Spaghetti with Summer Truffles
This seasonal special of fresh, homemade spaghetti with creamy summer truffles is the reason we came here. Don't get me wrong, I liked every bite I took, but I can't quite wrap my head around what puts people in such a tizzy over truffles. Are they really worth the extra $20 tacked onto your dish? If I was making A-Rod money then sure, shave those truffles on top of my morning Frosted Flakes. Since I'm not, that's an easy cutback.
Tagliolini with Lobster Ragu
A mouth-watering description of a homemade white tagliolini with lobster ragu, asparagus, and tomato cream fell short once again. This could have been amazing, but the end result was "just ok". The lobster was a little overcooked and rubbery, and the whole thing didn't mesh together as well as it could have.