Excuse me for a minute while I RAVE about Paesano’s. I guess its not exactly fair of me to give this place such a great review after only having been there once, while I’ve been to places like Bistro many, many times, but it was an excellent meal. A little background…
My roommates and I bought tickets to see Glee! Live a few months ago for Jen’s birthday, and tonight was the big night! We figured dinner in Sacramento would be a nice change of pace from dinner in Davis, so we headed out a little early. I had been lurking Paesano’s on Yelp (I am an obsessive Yelper) for a while now, and I thought it was the perfect opportunity. Not sure if it was the excitement for the show we were about to see (side note: Glee! Live was…AMAZING), or the fact that the four of us were out to dinner somewhere new to us, but we went a little crazy with the food. We ordered four appetizers (plus, they accidentally brought a fifth out to us that we got to keep!), four entrees, and three cocktails. I’m sure the waitstaff thought we were insane, however, the great thing about this meal was that due to us eating around happy hour time, our entire bill came out to about $22 a person, including tip. I cannot say enough great things about this meal, so I will let the pictures do the talking (for the most part…).
The cocktail special for that night was Watermelon Lemonade. I can’t remember what exactly was in the drink (Watermelon vodka, sprite, lemonade and something else…?) BUT I do remember that it was only $3 and tasted just like a watermelon Jolly Rancher, except maybe even a little better. Jen and Abby got this, and it was great. I, on the other hand, ordered a vodka tonic, because I am an 80 year old man.
On to the appetizers. The appetizers, to me, were the highlight of the meal. We got….
Fried Ravioli (Jen’s choice). Filled with spinach and cheese, and served with spicy marinara. These were the BEST fried raviolis I have ever had, and I like to consider myself a connoisseur of all fried raviolis. The cheese was nice and creamy and the spinach was a great addition to the raviolis that made them a little more exciting.
Polenta Fries (Syd’s choice). These were served with two dipping sauces: balsamic ketchup and gorgonzola sauce. For the sake of the blog, I tried the ketchup (and didn’t spontaneously combust, surprisingly). It was alright, but my roommates enjoyed it much more than I did. The gorgonzola sauce (basically blue cheese dressing) was excellent. These were such a cool concept, and I loved getting them instead of regular fries – they were perfectly crispy on the outside and nice and polenta-y on the inside. Great choice.
Crab and Artichoke Gratin (Abby’s choice). It was served with a warm baguette. All I can say about this is SWEET NOMS HOW HAVE I LIVED WITHOUT THIS. So good.
Gnocchi Gorgonzola (my choice). Little potato dumplings in a gorgonzola cream sauce. There was no way to go wrong with this, as I am obsessed with gorgonzola cheese. It was the perfect appetizer portion – not too large, as it was very rich. We used the leftover sauce on some bread, and it was great. Obviously.
Baked Garlic Sourdough (this was a happy accident). This was served with some “Paesano’s dipping oil” – basically olive oil and vinegar. The waitress accidentally brought this out to us, and since we clearly didn’t have enough food already, she let us keep it. The garlic and butter was baked into the crevices cut into the bread – it was good.
For the entrees….(yes, we ordered entrees after all the above food)….
The Tacchino Sandwich (Abby’s entree). Smoked turkey, roasted red peppers, balsamic onions, swiss cheese, green garlic aioli (what is green garlic? Can someone tell me?), on house made foccacia. This is the only thing I didn’t try, but from the tears of joy that were coming from Abby’s eyes I would say it was good.
Pork Fussili (Jen’s entree). Ginger braised pork tossed with fussili, topped with sour cream, habanero pesto, and cilantro. Jen loved this at Fuzio’s in Davis before it closed, and was happy to find a similar dish here. The sour cream cools off the spicy pesto nicely, and the pork is amazingly tender and full of flavor. Unique dish, in a very good way.
Carbonara (Syd’s entree). Penne pasta with smoked bacon, cracked black pepper, garlic, cream and parmesan. This was okay (only t0 me though – Sydney really enjoyed it). It wasn’t made with eggs (like mine!!!), but rather lots of cream and parmesan. It was good, but extremely rich, and not exactly a true carbonara, although you really can’t go wrong with BACON.
Gemelli Spinaci (my entree). Gemelli pasta (THE BEST SHAPE EVER), spinach, bacon, caramelized onions, and tomatoes in a roasted garlic cream sauce topped with feta. UMMMMM amazing is all I really have to say about this. The picture makes it look very spinach-y, but there is lots of pasta and other fattening delights lurking below.
SO. That was our meal. We were so full, and so happy when this was over and I can’t wait to return. I realize this post was quite lengthy, but at least now you know what pigs my roommate and I are. Special shoutout to our waitress for not judging us (too hard) for eating half the menu. Moral of the story….if you are in Sac…GO HERE.