Last spring, frontline food lovers like the Blissful Glutton started praising the pasta wonders of Michael Patrick, a chef, sommelier, and Italophile who had taken frequent trips to Italy over the last six years researching obscure recipes. He’d just started his business, Storico Fresco, selling his fresh and dried handmade pastas through the Farm Mobile and at farmers markets throughout the metro area. I tried them first last June, after reading the piece my colleague Christiane Lauterbach had penned for the magazine’s August issue. I was cooking for a friend’s birthday party and bought three filled pastas: bertu, filled pork sausage, homemade ricotta, parmesan, and grana padano cheese; cjalsons, stuffed with figs, raisins, smoked ricotta, and herbs and finished with a ridged edge; and pi fasacc, a specialty of Lombardy made to resemble a baby wrapped in a papoose, flavored with taleggio, grana padano, ricotta, and herbs.
We served each of them simply in brown butter so we could focus on the pastas’ flavors, and everyone at the party reeled. They were exceptional. The snap of the dough was delicate yet sturdy enough to contain the fillings. We fell silent, concentrating on the intricacy of the flavors. Not since Via Elisa on Howell Mill has Atlanta been able to find such a beautiful product locally. I became a regular at Patrick’s Peachtree Road Farmers Market stand, always anxious to try his latest seasonal effort, and I was thrilled when he began mentioning to customers that he was opening a retail store.
As most Atlanta restaurateurs know, opening a food-related business in the city takes more time and money than an owner ever expects. Patrick had hoped to open his business in November, but construction and permits and inspections caused delays. He finally launched this week, in the space next to Mims Bledsoe’s popular Pie Shop (with Dtox juice bar on the other side) around back of the complex of shops at 3210 Roswell Road.
The shop, for the time being, is spare—mostly a kitchen where Patrick and his assistants make pastas by hand, with a front counter and a deli case full of bagged dried pastas and trays of filled pastas in tempting shapes and colors. Don’t be intimidated by their unpronounceable Italian names: Patrick and his wife, Jill, are happy to talk you through the flavors. Next week they’ll start offering several sauces as well, including a basic tomato, the meaty Bolognese, and ragus made with rabbit or lamb tripe.
Patrick has a restless desire to keep mastering unusual regional pastas: Look soon for a Sicilian novelty filled with rabbit that incorporates pistachio flour, and the grand ouvo—four-inch ravioli each filled with ricotta and an egg yolk. Patrick is also plotting monthly pop-up dinners: details forthcoming.
In the meantime, stop by the store. The hours, for now, are Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m. (short because Patrick is still manning farmers markets as well). Like me, you may find yourself eating Italian much more at home: These special pastas are among the finest foods available in the city.
Pictured: Casonsei filled with beets and smoked ricotta