La Dotta Fresh Pasta Bar’s handcrafted, old-school-style pastas capture the best of Bologna

La Dotta’s pasta Amatriciana. Photo: La Dotta Fresh Pasta Bar.
La Dotta’s pasta Amatriciana. Photo: La Dotta Fresh Pasta Bar.

La Dotta is a nickname for the city of Bologna, which is where the Thong Lor pasta bar by the same name takes the inspiration for their menu.

Photo: Laurel Tuohy/Coconuts
Photo: Laurel Tuohy/Coconuts

This charming blue-and-white bedecked shophouse restaurant offers eat in, take out, and fresh pastas and sauces that you can take home to prepare yourself.

Photo: Laurel Tuohy/Coconuts
Photo: Laurel Tuohy/Coconuts

Featuring a bar that overlooks the street and another that overlooks the open kitchen downstairs, you’ll have to go upstairs if you want traditional tables. On the way up the stairs, pass their wine racks and cute on-theme tote bags for sale.

Photo: Laurel Tuohy/Coconuts
Photo: Laurel Tuohy/Coconuts

The portions at this pasta bar aren’t oversized, focusing on high quality over quantity. We left full, but not unpleasantly so. Their motto? Let’s make pasta great again.

The bar focuses on handcrafted, old-school-style pastas prepared and served as they are in Bologna, and pastas are made fresh daily. Made of Italian flour and semolina, they finish their pasta recipes off with organic duck egg.  

Chef Luca Cappitanio. Photo: Laurel Tuohy/Coconuts
Chef Luca Capitanio. Photo: Laurel Tuohy/Coconuts

We started with two glasses of Chilean wine, from Hugo Casanova Linage. Both the Sauvingnon Blanc and the Cabernet Sauvignon went down smooth, as did the price (THB220/glass, THB950/bottle).

Our first dish was the appetizer that is making a name for the pasta bar: the Truffle, Sage and Ricotta Deep-Fried Balls (THB320).

Photo: Laurel Tuohy/Coconuts
Photo: Laurel Tuohy/Coconuts

They were presented on a bed of 24-month aged parmigiana-reggiano fondue, which served to keep the balls in place on the plate and act as a dipping sauce. Over the top was a full gram of summer truffle slices that we watched Italian chef Luca Capitanio carefully shave over the dish.

Photo: Laurel Tuohy/Coconuts
Photo: Laurel Tuohy/Coconuts

The subtle slices were wonderfully musty and savory, though Capitanio explained that, in August, you get the mildest truffles of the year. Were we to come back in six months, the flavors would be much stronger. Inside the balls was ricotta cheese, pure truffle paste from France, and lots of sage, which gave the balls a bit of a Thanksgiving vibe to me.

We also started with the Eggplant Parmigiana with Tomato Sauce and Mozzarella (THB260). This stack of three half-inch-thick, large, and juicy eggplant slices held together with tomato sauce and topped with melted cheese is a traditional one, but deftly prepared. We were impressed that the chef managed to keep this dish tasting and feeling light — a good start before a pasta course.

Photo: Laurel Tuohy/Coconuts
Photo: Laurel Tuohy/Coconuts

For mains, we tried two pasta dishes, one from the standard menu and one from their seasonal specials.

The Tagliatelle alla Montanara (THB390) sees the traditional fat pasta strips decked out with Italian sausage, wild mushroom, and parmigiana-reggiano. It continued on the earthy-tasting tone set by the truffle balls. It tasted creamy and comforting on a night when it was raining outside.

Photo: Laurel Tuohy/Coconuts
Photo: Laurel Tuohy/Coconuts

From the specials menu, we tried Green Tortelloni Ricotta and Spinach (THB360) finished with butter and sage.

Photo: Laurel Tuohy/Coconuts
Photo: Laurel Tuohy/Coconuts

Highly satisfying, we loved the delicate thinness of the pasta, which allowed the nutmeg-tinged cheese and greens inside to shine through, instead of getting lost in a thick gluey pasta. It’s also due to this restraint, we believe, that we were able to walk away without feeling overstuffed.

Photo: Laurel Tuohy/Coconuts
Photo: Laurel Tuohy/Coconuts

For dessert, we shared a slice of Crostata al Limone (THB240), a lemon tart topped with pistachios. The large slice was plenty big enough for two, with flecks of nut on top for texture, a rich, buttery base, and lemony filling that had a more custard-like consistency that a standard lemon tart.

Photo: Laurel Tuohy/Coconuts
Photo: Laurel Tuohy/Coconuts

For the prices and the quality, La Dotta is good value when you’re craving pasta or comfort food — and it won’t leave you feeling like you’ve overindulged.

 

FIND IT:

La Dotta Fresh Pasta Bar & Store
161/6 Thong Lor Soi 9
Open daily, 5:30pm-11pm
BTS Thong Lor

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