Foodie Friday DFW: Graffiti Pasta
At its core, the art of graffiti celebrates the mashing together of different styles, ideas, cultures, and techniques. Which is exactly what restaurant owner, Anthony Morel, hopes to convey with Graffiti Pasta located in Denton Square. Graffiti Pasta combines his traditional Italian family recipes with some of his other loves - color, style, and the craft bar industry - to bring a unique take on Italian food.
One of the first things we noticed when walking into Graffiti Pasta (besides all of the incredible color, art, and graffiti on the walls and furniture) were the CHOPSTICKS on the tables....? Who needs chopsticks at an Italian restaurant? So, we asked Anthony about it and he told us that's one of the "graffiti" ideas included in the restaurant. In college he used to keep a big bowl of cold pasta in his fridge and would use takeout chopsticks to eat it during study breaks, for a late-night snack, etc. So why not bring that unique idea to a restaurant full of other unique ideas?
Another one of Anthony's unique takes is his Mean Green Lasagna which is based off of his grandmother's chicken lasagna recipe and a green pesto lasagna that he loves from his travels to Italy. Combine that with operating in "Mean Green territory," and you've got the Mean Green Lasagna!
Photo courtesy of Graffiti Pasta Facebook Page
As we were walking around the restaurant talking to other customers, we met customers who have already become regulars in the 4 short months since Anthony opened as well as customers who, like us, were experiencing Graffiti Pasta for the first time. But all the feedback was the same - this food is delicious!
To start, Anthony brought us the Calabrese Caprese made with heirloom cherry tomatoes, smoked mozzarella balls, house made pesto, a balsamic reduction drizzle, and some calabrese chili oil giving it that signature Graffiti differentiator from any other caprese salad you've had before.
One of Graffiti Pasta's best sellers is a dish Anthony actually thought would never take off - the Tortellini La Flor. This dish is made with a tri-color cheese tortellini tossed in a bright lemon alfredo sauce and comes garnished with edible flowers, which is the part Anthony was sure no one would go for or appreciate. But people love that he's incorporated his experience and love of being a bartender and craft cocktails into this pasta dish and the lemon alfredo sauce is so unique and delicious!
We also got to try what Anthony says is the dish that started it all - the Rasta Pasta which is a fettuccine tossed with jerk-flavored alfredo sauce, tri-colored bell peppers, and jerk-seasoned pulled chicken. This one was AWESOME. And was a favorite of all of ours. Awesome jerk flavor complimented by the creaminess of the alfredo.
But perhaps the most special menu item of all is the cheesecake which is made by Anthony's mother using their family's recipe that Anthony grew up getting to enjoy just twice a year, for his birthday and Christmas. Now he's convinced his mom to quit her job and make cheesecakes for him so that he can enjoy it whenever he wants. Genius!
We did mention that most of Anthony's restaurant experience comes from behind the bar, so it's no surprise that he also put a lot of thought into what drinks he'd serve at the bar here at Graffiti Pasta. One of Anthony's favorite Italian cockatils is a Negroni, so he's incorporated a classic Negroni as well as a few of his own unique creations inspired by family members.
This was such a fun adventure for us to get up to Denton Square and check out Graffiti Pasta. We're so glad we had the opportunity to meet Anthony and experience his vision for bringing lots of different worlds together to share his love for his Italian heritage and culture. There's so much care and thought that has gone into every aspect of Graffiti Pasta and we can't wait for you to experience it for yourself!
*Graffiti Pasta is located at 118 W Oak St, Denton TX 76201.