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Throwdown: The Best Chicken Riggies In CNY

Throwdown: The Best Chicken Riggies In CNY

The fragrance of garlic and basil simmering away in hot olive oil is a divine experience most gastronomists will relate to. Fresh, homely and welcoming, is the best way to describe such an experience in Syracuse, where food is more than just about grabbing a quick bite.

Pastabilities is one of the oldest restaurants in the city of Syracuse. Being the oldest, this quaint yet happening place boasts of an almost cult following amongst the city’s foodies. With the choicest of Central New York delicacies gracing their menu, Pastabilities also forms part of the region’s cultural fabric. Pastabilities has also been featured on the Food Network show, “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.”

READ MORE: The Search for Authentic Italy in CNY

We, at LivableCNY decided to try the two iconic pastas that have put Pastabilities on the lifestyle map of the region.

Wicky-Wicky Chicken Riggies

A full plate of chicken riggies from Pastabilities in Syracuse, New York

A full plate of chicken riggies from Pastabilities in Syracuse, New York

 What’s Yay?

Flavors: Spicy, but not saturated with an overpowering flavor of chili. Liberally seasoned with basil; hints of thyme and oregano. Strong presence of finely ground and toasted garlic. Each bite has something new to offer

Texture: Al-Dente, lightly coated in sauce, not too heavy on cheese, but creamy.

What’s Nay?

Temperature: Tends to get cold quickly owing to the cool ambience at Pastabilities. The rigatoni retains its texture, but tastes slightly doughy after getting cold.

Texture of the chicken: Could be juicier and more tender.

Rigatoni in Pastabilities’ Famous Spicy Hot Tomato Oil

A full plate of Rigatoni in Pastabilities’ Famous Spicy Hot Tomato Oil in Syracuse, New York

A full plate of Rigatoni in Pastabilities’ Famous Spicy Hot Tomato Oil in Syracuse, New York

 What’s Yay?

Flavors: Homely, spicy and simple; strong sweet aftertaste after a hot beginning. Flavors of basil and tomatoes blanched and cooked in virgin olive oil.

Texture: Coarse, not creamy; imparting a rustic and raw flavor to firm, al-dente rigatoni. Pasta is heavy on the sauce, thereby giving oodles of flavor to each bite.

Temperature: The hot oil ensured that the pasta remained hot right until the end, even in the cool surroundings of the restaurant.

What’s Nay?

Too much of a good thing: You can eat this for lunch perhaps, but it tends to grow on you, and not in a good way. After a few bites, it tends to get boring, and Pastabilities’ huge portion sizes make it difficult to like after having half a plateful.

Too heavy: Based on oil, this is to be expected. The feeling of fullness is accompanied by an oily sensation in the mouth and the back of the throat, which can be uncomfortable. The aftertaste of the first few bites is sweet, but tends to get oily as you finish the dish. The final aftertaste is only a tasteless oily one. The Locatelli cheese added to the pasta doesn’t help matters.

The Undisputed Winner

CNY’s very own, homegrown Chicken Riggies!

Light, nutritious, flavorful and celebratory, are a few of the words that can be used to describe this winner of a recipe. Paired up with Pastabilities’ very own garlic bread, Wicky-Wicky Chicken Riggies can undeniably be called the Italian feast with a Syracuse twist. If you are into fine dining, pair the Chicken Riggies with a glass of Riesling “Dry”, which is available on the restaurant’s beverage menu.

READ MORE: Ma Ma Rella’s Fine Foods: Homemade Sauce in a Jar

Conclude your meal with a Chocolate Pot De Crème, which is a rolled wafer cookie rather deceptively named.

Check out your favorites at Pastabilities and let us know if you agree with our conclusion. Let the battle of the pastas begin!






About The Author


This site celebrates the people places, and culture that make Central New York one of the most vibrant and livable regions in the country. From Auburn to Utica, from Syracuse, to Ithaca, this is LivableCNY.

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