OKG Eat: Carb coma

Bears have the right idea. While we’re all walking around, going to work in the cold and dealing with a 6 p.m. that looks like midnight, bears are in caves somewhere, powering through glorious, monthslong naps. Thankfully, humans have come up with a solution: pasta. Eat a big bowl of noodles and then sack out. You deserve it.

— By Greg Elwell

Photos by Mark Hancock and Garett Fisbeck

<em>Bucatini all’Amatriciana</em> pasta, with Pinnacoli red wine at Patrono. (Mark Hancock)

Bucatini all’Amatriciana pasta, with Pinnacoli red wine at Patrono. (Mark Hancock)

Patrono

305 N. Walker Ave.

patronookc.com

702-7660

If it ain’t Italian, it can take a walk. Patrono is hard-core authentic. Diners have to speak Italian to order. A grandmother comes out of the kitchen and makes you eat a second helping. Everyone who works there is required to own or rent a mustache. OK, none of that is true, except Patrono really makes authentic Italian food. Treat yourself to a bucatini all’Amatriciana and you’ll feel Italian, too.

Shrimp pasta at Stella in Midtown. (Mark Hancock)

Shrimp pasta at Stella in Midtown. (Mark Hancock)

Stella

1201 N. Walker Ave.

stellaokc.com

235-2200

The management at Stella would like to remind me, specifically, that this is not a dinner theater and my constant Marlon Brando impression attempts are, at best, disturbing. So, while I have to swear not to yell “STELLA!” over and over again, you can binge on a bowl of rigatoni with spicy pomodoro sauce and short rib ragout or a big chunk of roasted chicken lasagna.

Lasagna at Bella Vista Italian Kitchen on Western Avenue. (Mark Hancock)

Lasagna at Bella Vista Italian Kitchen on Western Avenue. (Mark Hancock)

Bella Vista Italian Kitchen

5801 S. Western Ave.

bellavistaokc.com

631-1717

How big a star is eggplant? It gets top billing. Heck, it gets the only billing in the big production of Eggplant Parmigiano: Live! Spaghetti barely gets a “with special guest” credit. Sometimes spaghetti misses meatballs. They were a team; unlike eggplant. But a job’s a job and spaghetti is a professional. If Bella Vista chefs want to showcase eggplant, they must know what they’re doing.

Linguine with little neck clams at Rococo (Garett Fisbeck)

Linguine with little neck clams at Rococo (Garett Fisbeck)

Rococo

2824 N. Pennsylvania Ave.

rococo-restaurant.com

528-2824

With so many new restaurants opening, sometimes it’s easy to forget about some of your longtime favorites. But nobody forgets Rococo, especially in the winter. Pull up a comfy chair beside the fireplace and enjoy a big bowl of the always-excellent daily soup or carbonara-style fettuccine Alfredo with your friends, or your enemies, because taking them to Rococo is a pretty great way to turn enemies into friends.

Spaghetti and meatballs with Beringer Merlot at Spazio Ristorante (Mark Hancock)

Spaghetti and meatballs with Beringer Merlot at Spazio Ristorante (Mark Hancock)

Spazio Ristorante

10600 S. Pennsylvania Ave.

spazioristorante.com

378-7735

Italian words are just fun to say: Scampi. Vongole. Marsala. Cacciatore. Don’t you just want to pinch the air in front of you and shake your hands and shout, “linguine al pesto?” Then here’s some good news for you: Spazio Ristorante (which itself is fun to say) will let you come in and butcher the Italian language all day long. Pollo genovese! Vitello martino! Tiramisu!

Mediterranean pasta at Flip's Wine Bar & Trattoria (Garett Fisbeck)

Mediterranean pasta at Flip’s Wine Bar & Trattoria (Garett Fisbeck)

Flip’s Wine Bar & Trattoria

5801 N. Western Ave.

flipswinebar.com

843-1527

Vampires, werewolves and other assorted night owls (but not actual owls; that would be ridiculous) love Flip’s because the kitchen stays open until 1 a.m. And as long as you’re warming yourself up with a glass of vino, your body temperature can afford the hit of the pescatore salad with chilled spinach linguine, poached shrimp, crab, capers, scallions and more. Ask for extra garlic if the vampires keep hitting on you.

Patrons at Revolve Pizza Kitchen can sit in the window and watch the downtown world go by. (Mark Hancock)

Patrons at Revolve Pizza Kitchen can sit in the window and watch the downtown world go by. (Mark Hancock)

Revolve Pizza Kitchen

100 W. Main St.

revolvepizza.com

600-6488

It might be best known for pizzas, but Revolve Pizza Kitchen doesn’t shy away from noodles, either. It might not be straight from Italy, but the Spicy Southerner combines your choice of pasta with spicy bourbon sauce, red pepper flakes, Parmesan cheese, tomatoes, chicken breast and bacon. Best of all, the spice of the dish will jump-start your digestive system, meaning you’ll soon have room for more pasta.

Greg is the Gazette's full-time food writer and reviewer. He goes to restaurants a lot. He orders three entrees and gets funny looks and then takes out his camera and people are like, "Ugh. This guy." Greg is writing this right now and it feels weird to keep referring to myself in the third person. On Twitter and Instagram: @Elwelleats

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