Next time you're on St. Armands Circle, trade your ice cream cone for a box of freshly made pasta—designed for maximum walkability and carb-loading. At the new pasta to-go concept DalMoros, you can watch fresh pasta being made in the window while waiting for your food to be prepared.
With pasta options like fusilli, rigatoni, fettuccine and bigoli (a fat, spaghetti-like pasta) and sauces like Bolognese, pesto and amatriciana (tomatoes, pancetta and onion), there's something for anyone who likes a heaping helping of hot, steamy noods.
DalMoros was started in Venice, Italy, by Gabriele Dal Moro. The Caruso family, who originally hail from Dallas, PA, but now reside on Lido Key, brought the franchise to the United States and chose St. Armands for its third location, which opened last Wednesday.
Brothers David and Chandler Caruso run the spot on the circle, minutes away from their home.
After receiving a blessing from the parking gods, I find a spot on the circle near the restaurant, which is located across from Kilwins. A giant pasta extruder looms in the front window surrounded by large containers of raw, fresh pasta. My skepticism begins to evaporate at the sight of those noodles.
I meet Chandler Caruso at the register and ask for his recommendations. He tells me he loves the cacio e pepe, which means "cheese and pepper" in Italian. He also steers me toward the amatriciana, but I make that at home so often that sampling here won't feel like a treat. Instead, I opt for rigatoni with pesto and sundried tomatoes, and bigoli with the recommended cacio e pepe.
Because the pasta is as fresh as can be, the meal is ready in under five minutes. Two paper containers filled with steaming pasta arrive in a flash. Color me surprised when they taste fantastic. I can taste the nuts in the pesto, highlighted by bursts of garlic. And the thick bigoli noodles stand up to the rich, pecorino Romano-laden cacio e pepe.
I munch on my pasta while Chandler regales me with stories about visiting Sarasota in his youth. He asks if I'd like to see the pasta extruder at work, and I watch as he fidgets with the machine, finally getting the mixture just right so fresh fettuccine can cascade out of it. I am captivated.
I'm not the only one. A French couple walks in to place an order. They take their boxes on a stroll, only to return minutes later to congratulate Chandler on a job well done. I can't help but agree.
DalMoros is open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. from Sunday-Thursday and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. on Friday-Saturday at 309 John Ringling Blvd. For more information call (941) 217-4386 or visit its website.