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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

A Park-and-Pasta Date

MTAt Pasta Project, a touchscreen at each table makes ordering painless.
The Pasta Project chain could have easily turned out to be a gimmicky, flash-in-the-pan kind of place. Instead of having regular printed menus, each table features a touch screen on which diners browse through the dishes (complete with photos and calorie counts), check out the special offers and place orders electronically. This might sound like a real headache, but as it turns out, the system works seamlessly, making it particularly useful for rushed business lunches: no waiting for the waitress. Also, the computerized menu's English version is convenient for those who have yet to master Russian, sparing nervous speakers from having to order verbally.

The good news for Pasta Project fans is that the chain's best effort to date has just opened in the Frunzenskaya neighborhood. Opposite one of Moscow's most endearing children's parks -- Usadba Trubetskikh v Khamovnikakh -- the new branch has pleasant views across the verdant playgrounds. The interior is similar to the other Pasta Projects -- modern minimalism, with ample lightwood adding warmth. As is becoming increasingly popular, there's an open kitchen where you can watch the chefs at work.

The menu offers many modern and tasty dishes, predominantly Italian, but with a sprinkling of Asian. The portions aren't huge, but the fine quality and low prices more than compensate.

Salads include four sorts of Caesar (190-310 rubles), two rucola salads with cherry tomatoes and Parmesan (with porcini 295 rubles, with king prawns 325 rubles), and some spicy options such as a Thai salad with chicken (220 rubles) or with shiitake mushrooms (255 rubles), and a chicken and chili salad (225 rubles).

As would be expected, the pasta selection is extensive. There are seven tagliatelle choices (220-450 rubles), 10 spaghettis (115-365 rubles), four sorts or pappardelle (235-395 rubles) and numerous others, including modern Asian noodle dishes. The mains are mostly Italian, and there's a substantial vegetarian menu. The wine prices are hard to beat, with half-liter carafes of white or red at 475 rubles.

9 Obolensky Per., korpus 1, entrance from Per. Kholzunova, 245-9227, 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sat. & Sun. noon-11 p.m., M. Frunzenskaya.