Mon-Fri, 6pm-10pm; Sat-Sun, closed
Neighborhoods: Midtown, Gramercy Park
Awesome Pasta – I love this place. It's easy to miss it since there's nothing remarkable about it from the exterior, but what it offers inside is exceptional. I've only gone to the take-out part in the back with a separate entrance and have found one man, not the owner but he's always there, to be so kind and helpful each time I visit. He always offers free samples of the sauces (which I always accept) and he just makes me smile. I loooove the arrabiata sauce and aurora. They also have great soups!
But really, for $5 you get a pint of pasta (penne, linguine, gemelli, cavatappi, fusilli or orecchiette) with a sauce (bolognese, pesto, aurora, arrabbiata, toscana, puttanesca, filetto, marinara, ciociara), all of which are homemade on site except the pesto (just not made on site). You can upgrade to a larger size for $6.50 as well. And don't forget to check out the basket of leftover cheese wedges by the register. They're delicious and cheap (my fav is some kind of goat cheese).
Affordable, well made, delicious! – Every meal I've ever eaten here has been excellent. While the service is mediocre (and when the restaurant gets crowded they can make you feel guilty for lingering), the food and the wine choices are perfect. The place is just the sort of affordable, low-key eatery NYC needs in these crazy times. Homy, cozy, with a wonderful deli that has amazing cheese selection. When the wait for a sit-down meal is too long, go for the takeout!
Foods Good, but they left me in the Cold – I agree with most of the reviews about Lamarca Pasta but I have to relate a recent experience that was very disturbing to me. I was refused service on a Monday evening because I was only one person. Over many years I was a frequent patron of the restaurant, most of the time I went there along with my Mother who lived three doors down the street. While she was in the hospital, I went there for dinner one evening. Four tables were empty but when I asked to be seated, I was refused being told that they would not seat a single person. I've never heard of such a thing.
The following morning I raised this issue with the owner of the restaurant, Joseph Lamarca, who provided no apology for this refusal other to say it was a business decision to maximize his business and offered NO resolution to this problem.
I filed a complaint with the NYC Dept of Consumer Affairs, the NYC Restaurant Association, and the NYC Office of Human Rights being told that after they each contacted Mr. Lamarca, he remained stubborn and unwilling to resolve this issue.
All I can say this is a bad business practice to refuse service to any customer based on being a single customer. I refuse to return to the restaurant and feel that when a eating establishment no matter how good it may be, how friendly the overall staff is, the customer should be treated with professional courtesy even by it business practices as overseen by its owner.
Chef Boyardee! – I am, like another reviewer on this site, completely confounded by other people?s glowing reviews of the food at this restaurant. The food here truly is comparable to Chef Boyardee (and I don?t mean that in a good way). If your idea of authentic Italian food involves syrupy sweet tomato sauce and overcooked pasta then this place is for you. Otherwise, go to the diner across the street and you?ll have a better chance of finding some Italian food. The most Italian part of this meal was the Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies that we picked up at the Duane Reade on the way home.
No wonder it's closed on the weekends – I had been wanting to eat here for a long time, and finally made it there last night. I was beyond disappointed with the quality of food! My friend and I agreed that the pasta was undercooked and the sauce tasted like it was out of a chef boyardee can. My dish was meant to have prosciutto it in, and after much digging I was only able to recover one cube. The tables on either of side of us were left with full and half plates of pasta when the patrons left. We ordered a bottle of wine, which wasn't even served until after we received our starters. The only redeeming qualities were the hot rolls and salad, as well as the pinot grigio, but these do not compensate for the slow service and substandard food. I am perplexed as to why this place gets raving reviews! There are significantly better Italian restaurants in NYC, so my recommedation is to skip this one altogether.
Great for lunch! – I work in the area and love to visit lamarca for lunch. I can get a soup or a small cup of pasta to go for $5. A few more bucks and you get a piece of bread. I love their sauces, especially the aurora.
Homemade Italian without a sinkful of dishes! – My husband and I have been to Lamarca twice, and each time we think, "Why don't we go here more often?" Yes, the interior has the look of a cafeteria about it, but we've been to places where they clearly spent more time on the decor than the menu - not here.
The pasta dishes, satisfying and generously portioned, come with a huge fresh-baked roll (yummy with unsalted butter!) and a perfectly-sized mixed green salad. The wine is priced very reasonably, and can be sealed in a bag to take home. It's not open on the weekends, so we always end up going on a Friday night after 9pm - but even at the end of their work week, they're always accommodating. :)
Awesome Pasta! – I was vistiting NYC, staying in the Gramercy Park area and I'm so glad I found this little Italian place! The atmosphere is casual but the food is great. If you're in the mood for pasta, you have to stop here. Everything was fresh, especially the veggies and homemade salad dressing. Very reasonable prices too.
Pasta heaven – I finally checked out this neighborhood pasta place, and was delighted. Traditional Italian pasta (not Italian-American), simple but extremely well cooked. We had involtini, primavera and rolotini. Each was excellent: al dente, flavorful, and just the right amount. Service and decor were fine, but it's the food that I'll be coming back for. I haven't found better pasta in NYC yet.
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