Wedged right next to Uji Time on Telegraph, Pasta Bene is a spacious restaurant serving locally sourced Italian food to anyone with a big group and a big appetite. The ambiance is casual, with soft jazz music in the background allowing for relaxed conversation, laughter and smiles all around a table of incredible food. While it may look like a more expensive restaurant, the food is affordable and cost-effective thanks to the family style menu. With so many options to satisfy any diet, craving, occasion, and budget, Pasta Bene is a secret gem to the Telegraph food scene. 


Appetizers are a crucial aspect of a family-style restaurant, and Pasta Bene clearly understands that this course sets the tone of how a meal will fare. The Bruschetta is a must if you are sharing between two people. The perfectly crunchy, toasted sourdough bread pairs beautifully with soft and juicy diced tomatoes, garlic, and basil ribbons. It’s a bit messy, but that is kind of the fun of this dish. I could see this dish breaking the nervous tension of a first date.

If you want something to share among a few more friends, the crab cakes with aioli are a fantastic choice. The cakes were crispy and flavorful—the little bit of aioli with a squeeze of lemon balances all the flavors. It was the app that I kept sneaking small bites of in between tasting other dishes.

For those looking for a smaller portion meal on the appetizer list, the Eggplant Parmigiana is the way to go. The grilled slices of eggplant were still firm through every bite and the sauce was bright and slightly acidic, cutting through the richness of the meal itself. If you happen to get the garlic bread, be sure to sop up any extra sauce from the Eggplant Parmigiana.


Erika Zhang

One of the things I appreciated about Pasta Bene was the variety of salads on the menu. While I love a good Caesar Salad, sometimes I want a salad with more veggies that will compliment my entree. The Di Casa Salad with mixed greens, kalamata olives, tomatoes, and mushrooms is that salad for me. The asiago dressing adds sharpness and compliments that distinct briny flavor of kalamata olives I love. The Gorgonzola Salad is also a great option with some funk from crumbled blue cheese, the crunchy texture of walnuts, and the creamy and sour tang of the green apple gorgonzola dressing.


Anna Chang

I wasn’t expecting to see sandwiches on the menu, but it was a welcome surprise. The Grilled Veggie Sandwich is a standout with roasted portobello mushrooms, bell pepper, and zucchini with Swiss cheese. The pesto is what makes this sandwich come together as a hearty and satisfying vegetarian dish. The Smoked Turkey Sandwich also deserves some praise with its perfect ratio of meat to veggies.


When I walked into Pasta Bene, the first thing I saw was a perfect family-sized pizza go straight from the kitchen to a table, and I saw everyone's eyes widen with sheer delight. I knew then a pizza had to be on my table.

One pizza to highlight is the Barbecue Pizza because there was a lot of obvious care when creating this menu item. There was a light amount of barbecue sauce on the pizza, just enough to highlight the toppings without overwhelming the palate while the mozzarella mellowed all the flavors to work together. The Veggie Pizza is also a standout with light and refreshing flavors thanks to all the veggie toppings and that signature tangy tomato sauce.


Anna Chang

How could I not get some pasta while I was here? There were plenty of options to try in terms of pasta dishes, but Pasta Bene was the dish to beat. The linguine was al dente and coated with that signature smooth, tangy red sauce I’d come to love by this point of the meal. It was the perfect spring dish with all the bright colors from the vegetables and herbaceous basil. And of course, the focaccia served on the side was just what I needed to soak up some sauce at the end of the meal.


Anna Chang

I’m usually one to opt out of dessert after a big meal, but the Tiramisu from Pasta Bene is just so incredible, you’ll make room in your stomach just to try one bite. It is beautifully light and airy with whipped mascarpone, soft ladyfingers soaked in dark espresso, and delicate chocolate shavings. While that sounds like your standard Tiramisu, Pasta Bene serves its tiramisu with a tangy blueberry sauce that cuts the richness of the dessert and adds a much-needed freshness to it, creating what I would call a perfect bite to end a delicious meal.

Pasta Bene is one of those restaurants that could fit any occasion with ease. It could accommodate a large, hungry and budget conscious family for a post-graduation ceremony just as well as it could create a seemingly expensive first date for a cost-minded college student. And if that wasn’t enough to persuade you to go, the restaurant is inviting and cozy, as if you were welcomed home after a long day to a friendly smile and a big plate of pasta.