The Past Loft is located on the Oval. From the outside, the restaurant doesn't look particularly large but there are actually two floors. As you enter from the street, you will find a lively bar area downstairs with a quieter dining room upstairs.
We visited on a recent Saturday evening and there was a mix of younger couples and also many families. The tables have red table cloths and the staff covers these with brown paper to keep them from getting dirty. I've never seen this before but a good idea nonetheless.
After ordering a couple of drinks, we were excited to review the menu. From what I remembered the food was excellent. In addition to brick oven pizza (which looked fabulous by the way) they have a lot of the traditional Italian favorites and some specialties. There are sandwiches and salads along with appetizers such as fried calamari, chicken tenders and fried ravioli. Entrees include soup and salad which in my opinion is a great value.
We started out with cheese ravioli served with their marinara sauce. These were a little disappointing, lacking in a strong flavor and covered with what I thought might be marscapone cheese. I would probably get something different next time.
The Italian wedding soup arrived next and although very good was luke warm. We complained and our waitress happily brought out two more bowls. Unfortunately, they were still not quite hot enough but we ate them. I know this isn't easy but please make sure the soup is piping hot when it arrives at the table. In the mean time, we received a couple of salads and these were well made.
For the main entree, I selected their chicken marsala and my wife the grilled chicken spinach ravioli. Now this is what I remembered, both were delicious. Mine had a very strong flavor from the wine that went well with the tender chicken.
For dessert we were surprised that most were not homemade except the Tarimasu. We were in a pie mood and sampled the blueberry from Maple Lane Pies in Lyndeborough, NH. Not as good as Grandma's but pretty tasty for one not made on premises.
Our waitress did a good job, professional and courteous.
So there you have it, The Pasta Loft is a restaurant that you should check out for an enjoyable experience that is fun for everyone. They also have a location in Hampstead for those who live in the Salem area.