Earlier this month, Brooklyn restaurant Pasta Wiz added itself to the long line of Harry Potter-themed restaurants and food events (see also: the Valentine’s Day banquet at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London and the wine dinner that happened in Chicago). “We decided Pasta Wiz, it’s like a wizard magical place, so we’ve made it Harry Potter-style. We decorated in a Harry Potter-style,” Alex Dimitrov, the Pasta Wiz owner, told Gothamist. “The magic is making the pasta so fast, and so good.”
But just how magical is the establishment? On Tuesday night, two of EW’s biggest Harry Potter devotees ventured on the subway to Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood to see for themselves…
Upon entering Pasta Wiz through a wooden door, patrons are encouraged to place their orders using touch screens; from there, muggles can build their own pasta dish or pick from premade options with names like “Magic Meatballs” and “Neptune Mix.” The menu also has salads, juices, smoothies, and crepes, cakes, and ice cream for dessert — none of which seems wizard-inspired at all. But, hey, there’s a Sorting Hat by the juice bar.
Once we placed the order — we both went with make-our-own variations — we grabbed seats in the main dining area. But visitors hoping for the full wizard experience might be a tad bummed: we were struck by how little the place seemed to resemble any locations from Harry Potter — not Hogwarts, anywhere in Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade, or houses we’ve been inside like The Burrow or No. 12 Grimmauld Place. There’s a broomstick on the far wall (unclear if it’s a Nimbus, a Firebolt, or just, you know, a broom), a knight standing watch in a corner, and books and mirrors hung around the perimeter. No portraits anywhere, talking or otherwise.
One display cases held a variety of bottles and other trinkets that might not have been out of place in Dumbledore’s office, and another had some (fake?) spiders that would have definitely put Ron Weasley off his dinner.
We looked around at the other patrons as we ate, wondering if they also were there because of the supposed Harry Potter connection. As if on cue, a group sat down at the table near the broom and some candlesticks, and one young woman declared, “I feel like you would find this in the Malfoys’ kitchen.” A different woman also took a photo of her kids near the Sorting Hat.
After one more look around the room trying to find something (anything!) else that made Pasta Wiz Potter-y (and lamenting that there weren’t any Chocolate Frogs available for dessert), we set off toward home. Final verdict: Harry Potter fans might be disappointed by what they find there — and might be better off just pairing one of the movies with dinner at home for their own Potter-inspired culinary magic.