As Laurel, Maryland businessmen, Bob Clark and Allan Steinhorn have savored the unique constellation of merchants near their headquarters.
No place was nearer and dearer to their culinary hearts than Pasta Plus. For almost forty years Pasta Plus produced a dizzying array of Italian delicacies for eating in and carry out. Divine pizzas, amazing sandwiches, innumerable homemade pastas, fish , veal, beef, chicken; all delicious.
The proprietors Max and Sabbatino Mazziotti, were always in the house, welcoming long-term and new customers alike to their unique restaurant. Unique because for many years the storefronts on either side of their restaurant and market, were empty, a former Chinese restaurant, a defunct Baskin and Robbins, a closed computer repair shop.
From the outside Pasta Plus looked less than inviting. The premises were located in a narrow strip of a shopping center sandwiched between Route One North and Southbound and Route 198 East and West. The number of times I raved about this place to the uninitiated are legion and every time they would arrive they would look at me dubiously. Then they would open the menu and see the extraordinary breadth of dishes and their skepticism would diminish.
A few bites of a pasta and whoosh they were converts. With Covid-19 closing the dine in service, the carry-out market became that much more vital. Weekly homemade pasta and sauce pick-ups alternated with pizzas and slowly it dawned on our circle of friends that Pasta Plus might not go on for the rest of our lives!?
This discussion occurred in hushed tones because honestly among my family and friends, Pasta Plus was not only our most frequented restaurant but also everyone's favorite. Every birthday, anniversary, welcome home or other special occasion resulted in a visit or massive carry-out.
Thus, it was no shock that when covid hit Pasta Plus the decision was made to close permanently.
The news came out in an email and the next day Bob Clark stopped by the premises for old times sake. A TV crew from Prince George's Cable was there documenting the closing of this legendary institution and Bob was interviewed on camera and got to thank Max and Sabbatino and extoll the greatness of their place.
A few minutes later a woman arrived who told Bob that she had lost her partner in the last year and that this was their favorite place not only for meals but also for wine dinners. They peeked in the window together hoping to recapture some of the long-time magic and lo and behold Max emerged and hugged them and spoke about the decision to close which was clearly agonizing for him.
He explained that Covid had taken away the fun of owning this wonderful place because he and Sabbatino could no longer greet their beloved clientele.
He wondered when Covid would make reopening possible and suggested he might not have the energy at 79 to see to it.
So farewell to our favorite restaurant and many thanks to the Mazziotti brothers for bringing us so many years of gustatory pleasure.! May their retirement be happy, healthy and extensive.