While many lament the downfall of the South End over the last generation, some gems, throwbacks to the bygone era when the neighborhood was known as "Little Italy" remain today. The Di Fiore Pasta Company may just be the best of them all. Located at 556 Franklin, Di Fiore Pasta is a family owned shop specializing in homemade pastas and raviolis that are nothing short of sublime.
The ravioli case is really the crown jewel of this tiny pasta shop located almost directly across the street from other favorites MC's Barbershop and DiBacco's Grocer. The cooler is full of raviolis stuffed with mouth watering ingredients that we would never have dreamed of folding into a ravioli. If there's any downside it is that the options are so many, and so appetizing, that they can cause paralysis by overanalysis in trying to make a choice. Ever have breaded buffalo chicken ravioli? Good, damn good.
The rest of the shop features prepared items, most just needing to be heated up. Fresh pastas, sauces, and bread are all readily available. From red sauce to clam sauce, lasagna to stuff manicotti to hand dipped ricotta, if you are craving Italian, Di Fiore is the place.
While everyone is trying to identify the new up and coming thing, or bemoaning what Hartford doesn't have it is easy overlook what Hartford does have and easy to forget that the classics are old classics for a reason; they are just flat good. You aren't going to get better, fresher pasta anywhere, period.
When they say Hartford Has It: Art or Hartford Has It: Food, Di Fiore Pasta Company, because this is truly food as art, classically done and beautifully executed.