Food & Drink
FOOD: Dave’s Fresh Pasta — Davis Square [Boston]
by Rebecca Joy
Boston’s pre-Christmas snowstorm had me remembering the blizzard of February 2013 and my first ever trip to Dave’s Fresh Pasta. My roommate and I had been house-bound for a full day and night with only The Sound of Music, an eggplant, and a bottle of cheap champagne, and when the snow finally slowed down, we were anxious to get outdoors and get something different to eat. Most everything in Davis Square was still closed but Dave’s Fresh Pasta was open. Massachusetts Avenue (which runs from Dorcester to Lexington) was totally deserted and it was strange to see Davis Square taken over by snow-suited pedestrians and hooligans with snow shoes and cross-country skis. Dave’s was crowded with stir-crazy Somervillians in all manner of winter gear. Every time I am in Dave’s Fresh Pasta, I think the same thing with a sigh, “I want to live here,” amongst the capers, goat cheese, prosciutto, and Prosecco. This Somerville shop offers a soup-to-nuts meal in four “rooms” of yummy eats, on top of catering and cooking classes.
The Pasta Room features fresh pasta, sauces, prepared foods, and specialty cheese, essentially everything you need for a dinner party (or just for yourself. Who am I kidding?). Check out the cheese counter for samples; my last visit, I was able to taste an edamame hummus that was light and delicious. Their fresh pastas are a great, quick-cooking meal and the specialty cheeses are a “treat yourself” splurge. Olive lovers are not forgotten. My personal favorite are the dark green Castelvetrano olives which I would eat with pretty much anything.
In the to-go area, you can order Dave’s original sandwiches or make your own, customizing meats, cheeses, toppings, and bread. Sandwiches average around $8.50 each but are more than enough for one meal. I can’t resist their Italian sandwich on a grilled baguette and the avocado BLT is my runner-up. Also tasty are the daily soups (shout out to the fish chowder). To round out your lunch, check the coolers for salads, desserts, and sodas. Bags of chips or huge chunks of dark chocolate are also available for a healthy or not-so-healthy snack.
After ordering a sandwich, take some time to peruse the groceries in the specialty shop, including the deli counter fresh meats. Veggies, fruits, pickles, Nutella, coffee (a.k.a. my five food groups)… this place is a wonderland. You can even pick up household cleaners and body care, including local manufacturer Global Balance. There is seating along the windows for eating in with a view of Holland Street outside or all the delicious things that you can find inside.
The last area to peruse at Dave’s is the Wine Shop. Fabulous, fabulous wine and beer shop with a knowledgeable staff happy to give recommendations. The day after the snowstorm, I discovered a gem of a sparkling rose at the tasting station that vastly improved my weekend and/or life. (Just next door is Spoke Wine Bar, opened by a Dave’s wine buyer — a classy drink and app spot.) So, that’s Dave’s in a nutshell. A splurge-worthy, foodie paradise that I would happily make my second home.
Dave’s Fresh Pasta
81 Holland Street
Somerville, MA 02144