Table Talk: Novella Osteria Italian restaurant in Powell specializes in handmade pasta

Gary Seman Jr.
ThisWeek group
Fall squash cappellacci with sage brown butter and toasted hazelnuts from chef Matthew Phelan was on the menu Nov. 17 at the Novella Osteria restaurant in Powell.

After 10 years of earning his chops in New York City, chef Matthew Phelan has returned home to open his own restaurant.

Phelan has opened Novella Osteria, a rustic Italian restaurant, at 170 W. Olentangy St. in Powell.

Chef Matthew Phelan has opened Novella Osteria, a rustic Italian restaurant, at 170 W. Olentangy St. in Powell.

“I want to be a neighborhood restaurant,” said Phelan, who grew up in Dublin. “I want to be completely genuine. The food speaks for itself – it’s simple, it’s rustic, it’s really, really about technique. That’s very important to me.”

For starters, Phelan makes all the pasta by hand, with the exception of the spaghetti.

One example is the fall squash cappellacci, a style of folded noodle that resembles tortellini.

Another is the squid-ink chitarra, named for an instrument used to cut the pasta thin. The pasta is tossed with rock shrimp, prosciutto and chili peppers and dusted with bread crumbs.

Squid-ink chitarra with rock shrimp, chili peppers, prosciutto and bread crumbs from chef Matthew Phelan was on the menu Nov. 17 at the Novella Osteria restaurant in Powell.

“For me, pasta is all about good technique,” Phelan said. “To me, it’s about building flavors. That’s what it’s all about.”

Phelan is an alumnus of the departed Luce Enoteca, which also was in Powell. While attending Ohio State University studying for a degree in communication, he said, he decided he “wasn’t a sit-at-a-desk guy."

So he packed up his cutlery set and headed to the Culinary Institute of America before working for such respected restaurateurs as Daniel Boulud and serving as culinary assistant to Geoffrey Zakarian, a Food Network personality and chef.

Phelan said he was drawn to the vibrant Italian cuisine of New York City and decided to stay in that style of cooking.

“When I left Ohio 10 years ago, the restaurant scene was good,” he said of Columbus. “The people I would call foodies are a little bit more knowledgeable now.”

Those looking for dishes outside of the noodle range can opt for flank steak with wild mushroom barley risotto, a deboned half chicken served piccata style, farro salad or any number of sides or appetizers.

The restaurant also has a special every day of the week it is open. That includes the lobster fra diavolo with bucatini.

Entrees are $16 to $28.

Novella Osteria is part of a new development east of Sawmill Parkway. It offers a casual mood and design flourishes that indicate a well-worn establishment.

“I want the place to look like it’s been here for 100 years but also has the feeling of being home," Phelan said.

Hours are 4 to 10 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays; the restaurant is closed Mondays. For more information, call 614-389-6698.

Clean-plate club

Clean Eatz has replaced Sweet Carrot at 7571 Sawmill Road in Dublin.

The restaurant is known for its individual dishes available for dine-in service as well as customized meal plans available for takeout. New menus come out every Thursday.

Clean Eatz is the second location for franchisee Casey Schroeder, whose original store is in the Graceland Shopping Center, 182 Graceland Blvd. in Columbus.

Schroeder said meals are healthy and balanced, but Clean Eatz has many meat options, not all vegan and vegetarian.

“Our main thing is healthy, convenient and affordable,” he said.

Clean Eatz also has an extensive selection of frozen meals, which are served in microwave-safe containers, he said.

New Panera location

The 40th local Panera Bread is at 6120 Sawmill Road in Columbus, right outside Dublin.

Owned by Covelli Enterprises, the local franchisee of Panera Bread, the newly built café features a drive-thru, as well as curbside pickup, delivery and an outdoor patio, all of which help serve those looking for socially distanced meal services. Online ordering is available at panerabread.com.

The building seats 60 in a socially distanced format (otherwise 92) and 30 on the patio (otherwise 34).

The restaurant replaces a Panera that closed nearby at 2750 Martin Road.

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary