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An authentic Italian mozzarella bar is headed for West Midtown. Chef Pat Pascarella, who owns popular Italian restaurants White Bull and Grana, will open his new restaurant concept, Bastone!, at 887 Howell Mill Road NW by the end of the year.
Bastone! will take the place of the now-shuttered Bocado, and will be a full service restaurant and bar, specializing in Italian imported and house-made mozzarella, handmade pasta, and salumi.
“I’ll never forget the first time I took a bite out of some freshly-made mozzarella in Italy,” says Pascarella, whose family is from Naples. “Trying to recreate that is almost impossible, but we’re going to be buying — and in some cases, making — our own curd to make mozzarella, and importing burrata straight from Puglia. The cheese is so fresh, it only has a 3-day shelf life. We’re taking a big risk, but it’s going to be worth it.”
The restaurant’s name comes from the term bastone, which is Neapolitan dialect for the ace of clubs in an Italian playing card deck. It’s an homage to Pascarella’s grandfather, who used to scream, “Bastone!” as he slammed the card down on the table during games. “This restaurant is my way of saying, ‘I’m here in Atlanta, I’ve got two restaurants, and now I’m playing with the big boys and slamming it down in West Midtown,'” says Pascaralla.
As for the space, Bastone! will boast a split bar, half of which will feature fresh, hand-stretched mozzarella, with cured meats hanging from the ceiling above, while the other half focuses on the restaurant’s wine and cocktail program. A wrought iron and glass divider will separate the dining room from the bar, and a pasta-making room at the front of the restaurant will also serve as a private dining room by night. Pascarella has extended the space’s front patio and added a retractable awning, and a giant mural will be the center of attention on the back patio.
With Bastone! comes Pascarella’s new restaurant group, The Porchetta, which he and partner Bryan Ferris plan to expand over the next few years. “It’s been a lot of fun and we’ve put in a lot of hard work,” says Pascarella. “We’re really hoping to explode.” More restaurant concepts are in the works, and more Bastone! locations could also be soon to come.
“There’s no such thing as too much handmade pasta that’s done well,” says Pascarella. We agree. There’s really nothing better than fresh pasta and cheese, and if you can’t make it all the way to Italy, it looks like Bastone! will soon be the next best thing.