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Pasta Night at Baba Yega

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The Tuesday night special at this longstanding Montrose institution is pasta. That doesn't sound too exciting, does it? But how wrong you are.

If Sunday brunches at Baba Yega are the Montrose equivalent of enormous, loud, raucous, possibly inebriated family reunions, Tuesday nights are like quiet nights at home with the family, catching up after the weekend. The restaurant turns into a sort of communal dining room for the entire neighborhood on those nights, as people head out for a leisurely supper, visiting with their families and friends and their favorite waiters over bowls of pasta. And it's the pasta that makes it so special.

Much like the omelette bar during the aforementioned Sunday brunch, the pasta bar is manned by two gentlemen with frying pans and a wide range of ingredients, ready to tailor-make a bowl to your liking. Last Tuesday, I had them throw in every green vegetable they had -- spinach, peas, broccoli and green peppers -- as well as some onions and mushrooms for good measure, along with garlic and basil for flavor. Choose your meat -- shrimp, chicken or sausage -- your pasta and your sauce, and you're ready to go.

The pasta special on Tuesdays is $11.95, which also includes a salad bar with somewhat dubious but ultimately comforting ingredients (this is the kind of purposefully non-fancy salad your mom would hastily throw together on spaghetti night) as well as unlimited garlic bread. And there's more than enough pasta in the bowl you're presented with for leftovers or a midnight snack.

I enjoy the fact that you can make your pasta as healthy as possible or -- if you're having a terrible week so far -- dress it up with nothing but alfredo sauce and copious amounts of bacon. The skillet-wielding pasta men don't care. They won't judge you.

Just remember to leave a dollar or two for them in the tip jar as you take your bowl of well-deserved comfort back to your table to relax and enjoy the evening.

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