Friday, January 26, 2007

Dining critic candidate No. 44


When you walk into Paravicini’s, you’re instantly surrounded in comfort. Glowing ocher walls, Andrea Bocelli softly serenading in the background, framed Italian posters, unobtrusive staff; all contribute to a feeling of ease as you’re seated.

My husband and I decided to follow the traditional style of Italian dining…seven courses! But before food, as always, a beer for him (this time Moretti) and a Pinot Grigio for me.

To begin our evening of gluttony, the antipasto (appetizer) we chose was the Mozzarella Caprese ($6.95), a classic Italian salad made of Buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil. The tomatoes were a bit lackluster, but we had unlimited access to the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and this presentation came with roasted red peppers and thinly sliced onions which was a nice twist on the traditional. Next, our primo (first course), was Baked Penne ($12.95), al dente pasta tossed with spicy, yes spicy!, Italian sausage, tomato sauce, onions and garlic. Since we like our saucy dishes dripping, we ordered an extra side of marinara and dug in. Soon we were dripping… marinara off our chins and heat off of our foreheads from the sausage! Most excellent.

With our tongues still tingling from the fiery primo, we ordered another round of beverages and were served our secondo (main dish). We selected a “Paravicini Original” called Chicken Valeria ($14.95). It is an ingenious concoction of the most tender sautéed chicken with big chunks of garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and mushroom sauce smothering a bed of angel hair pasta. It was melt-in-your-mouth-to-die-for. Our contorno (side dish), was the house salad: mixed greens, shredded carrot and cabbage, and croutons with oil and vinegar. No fuss in this salad, simple and pure and delightful. In Italy the contorno comes after the main course and is a cool light dish to temper your palate for what is to come next. Dolce! We all know that this means dessert, and for all that know me know that it’s my favorite part of the meal. We ordered the Biscotti Parfait ($5.25): layers of crumbled biscotti, vanilla ice cream, caramel, and a slight hint of hazelnut. Heaven.

We wound up the evening with decaf caffe and the ammazzacaffe, or liqueur, for us Frangelico to complement the hazelnut in the dessert. All in all, we had a magnifico experience. The pace was good, we never felt rushed, and the food was exceptional. Paravicini’s, which translated means “for the neighborhood”, is a restaurant that these two neighbors will definitely visit again.


Anonymous Submission Reviewer said...

Good atmosphere and food descriptions, but obvious exculsion of anything on the menu the writer did not order. No location, hours, or general pricing information.

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like this critic's dinner was good, but what about the rest of the food?

12:23 PM  
Blogger Warren Epstein said...

FYI. "submission reviewer" is not associated with the Gazette.

9:10 AM  

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