There’s something magical about walking into Pasta Wiz. The walls are full of medieval-looking artifacts, old books, mysterious bottles and even an actual broomstick straight from Harry Potter.
The decor comes from co-owner Alex Dimitrov, who adores the wizarding aesthetic. The restaurant chose to run with a wizarding theme – even its name has the word “Wiz” in it. On the menu, you can order various “potions” or drinks with names such as “The Dark Lord.” Earlier this month, Gothamist writer Nell Casey visited the restaurant and wrote an article describing the restaurant as Harry Potter-themed, but co-owner Mike Awad strongly disagrees. Pasta Wiz’s intention is to serve pasta Chipotle-style — fast and personal — and to offer customers a friendly and comfortable environment. While the establishment has elements that make it seem like a building from Harry Potter, the wizarding theme is merely a display of one of the owner’s passions.
According to Awad, the Harry Potter description has actually caused a lot of problems for the restaurant. After it was published, customers focused more on the theme rather than the food. Given the amount of effort and care that goes into the food at Pasta Wiz, Awad’s frustration at the food being overshadowed by the theme is understandable. However, he shouldn’t worry, because the pasta is utterly phenomenal.
Customers have the option of creating their own pasta dish or ordering from one of the restaurant’s menu options. Stern sophomore Tara Sorman ordered the Neptune Mix, which is radiatore pasta in spicy arrabiata with salmon and shrimp.
“The food was flavorful and well-cooked, and it was great to have it cooked right in front of you” said Sorman.
The wizarding-themed items on the menu, such as the “Immunity Potion,” an orange, lemon, grapefruit and ginger juice, and “Liquid Gold,” a mango and banana smoothie, were fresh and delicious.
Another draw for Pasta Wiz is its comfortable atmosphere. All the staff are incredibly friendly and helpful, and they have different seating options to match any taste. It’s a very open and relaxed establishment, but the people there clearly care about what they serve. Pasta Wiz is located on 60 N. First St. in Brooklyn, and is open from 11 a.m to 10 p.m every day. NYU students get a 10 percent discount with their NYU ID.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Jan.30 print edition. Email Sona Shekhawat at [email protected]