Thursday, February 22, 2024

Lake Chelan Valley welcomes inspired pasta

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CHELAN – An exciting addition to the valley’s culinary scene, Lago Pasta and Casetta Rossa have taken the hearts of Chelan residents with their hip approach to both food and restaurant culture. Lago Pasta, a small European market, and Casetta Rossa, an Italian trattoria pasta bar, opened less than four months ago, though have quickly become beloved.

This market and pasta bar are the creations of partners and longtime friends, Teague Block and Nathan Gottlieb. Block, former owner of Lake Rider Sports in Chelan, and Gottlieb, long-time Italian chef and former part-owner of Pasta Casalinga of Pike Place Market, teamed up this past winter to bring the valley something new, and their quick acceptance has been noteworthy. Block had been working two years to prepare their current location at 510 E. Woodin Avenue with intention to open a market, but it was when chef Gottlieb made the decision to relocate to Chelan in December that their collaboration really began to take shape.

Block describes their bond and vision, “We became two separate entities, but at the same time, we’re one entity. He’s [Gottlieb] Casetta Rossa, he’s the chef, and I’m in charge of the market, I’m Lago [Pasta], but we are the same. We’re looking to venture with other people too and bring in other ideas, things that are part of something comfortable, something fun, European, with reasonable prices…we want you to walk in and feel like you’re out of Chelan, like you just walked into little Europe. Every day we strive to provide that because that’s what we want. We just want a place where we can hang out and feel cozy.”

Pasta Lago boasts a myriad of delicacies, wines and various European treats for sale alongside a deli stocked with their fresh pasta, sauces, seasonal vegetables, and specialty syrups. Outside, Casetta Rossa’s menu features ever-changing pasta dishes and salads, the trattoria honoring a small sampling of dishes rich with seasonal and local inspiration and ingredients. This coming winter they plan to stay open, and have intention to even begin offering take-and-bake options to the community.

Food is not, however, the only aspect of this venture that Block and Gottlieb are impassioned about. Their commitment to and care for their employees shows in their dedication to creating a supportive and balanced work environment for all. Block articulates, “They [market and restaurant staff] are treated like family here, and everybody has the same position. We all wash the dishes. We all serve food. We all get behind the cook station if we need to cook. We’re chopping onions together. It’s a bit different in that way for a business like this–everybody’s equal.”

Katie Lindert: 509-731-3211 or katie@ward.media

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