The atmosphere at Porano

The atmosphere at Porano

Ashleigh Williams, Review Section Editor

“This is where everything is supposed to happen”

As stated simply by visionary chef and winner of the James Beard award, Gerard Craft, the city of St. Louis is supposed to be hustling and bustling. Rather, it seems as though the city is becoming more and more isolated and desolate. Specifically, the restaurant industry seems to be moving further and further away from St. Louis city.

In opposition to this movement, Craft’s newest enterprise, Porano Pasta, serves up an alternative take on the fast-casual dining experience. Craft is known for his Niche food group, including Clayton restaurants Niche and Pastaria. Porano, however, is a different story. In Craft’s vision, Porano is a place where cheap but good food connects, “We call it slow-fast.” As Craft explains to us, when McDonald’s began to take off decades ago, there was a movement in Italy in retaliation of the corporate chains called the slow-food movement. Porano encapsulates the “slow-fast-food” idea perfectly. “I want to make sure everybody understands what it is supposed to be: it is not supposed to be Niche. It is not supposed to be some creative interpretation of pasta. It is supposed to be well-executed, yet cheap, pasta.”

In front of our very eyes, we realized the entire goal of Porano: Yummy, accessible food in an environment welcoming to all. Indeed, the ensemble of greetings as we entered the restaurant as well as the simple menu made up of choice ingredients not only made this restaurant experience delicious, but also unique. As well as creating social change around the fast-food business, the gelato pops and risotto balls are must-tries.