July 10, 2012


Walking around downtown Davis with a loudly growling stomach, I guided a friend to the door of Paesanos (restaurant #8), and we stepped inside. Although people have previously complained of long waits, the hostess seated us immediately, and our waitress soon arrived with a basked of rosemary bread.  



Hearing extremely good reviews about the polenta fries, we ordered a plate as an appetizer. (Just a warning: polenta is not a vegetable like potatoes! It’s a boiled cornmeal that can be served as is, baked, or fried.) Seasoned with rosemary and onions and served with house-made balsamic ketchup and gorgonzola sauce, the thick fries quickly disappeared from the platter. We thought about asking for another round and forgoing the entrées, but our waitress had already given our dinner order to the kitchen…



And the chefs did not disappoint! I chose a half-sized hoisin chicken salad, which came as a mountain of fresh ingredients tastefully arranged on the plate. The toppings easily outnumbered the greens—exactly how I like my salads—and included moist chicken, crunchy wontons, chopped peanuts, black sesame seeds, and pickled cucumbers and jicama. Of the two dressings, I preferred the peanut over the hoisin; it packed in a stronger flavor. Although tempted to eat the whole salad, I stopped halfway through to prevent my stomach from exploding—and that was only the small size!



My friend ordered the spaghetti carbonara, which included a crusty slice of bread on the side, and I snuck a small taste of the pasta before he devoured the whole dish. A heavy cream sauce covered the perfectly al dente noodles and large pieces of bacon. We could have warded off vampires with the amount of garlic in the cream, but other than a tad too much salt, the sauce still tasted delicious.


Because of its pleasant ambiance and irresistible food, I will definitely dine at Paesanos again. Maybe I’ll try the gnocchi (my favorite type of pasta!) or the build-your-own calzone… Or maybe I’ll just eat a whole plate of polenta fries for my dinner!



website: click here

Davis wiki: click here

hours: Sun-Thurs 11:30a-9p; Fri-Sat 11:30a-10p


ordered: polenta fries, hoisin chicken salad (half), spaghetti carbonara

menu comments: something for everyone: salads, pasta, sandwiches, pizza, even build-your-own calzones

some dishes have an Asian twist or flavors

complementary bread basked with balsamic vinegar and olive oil

etc: both indoor and outdoor seating plus a full bar

sometimes they’ll give kids a dough ball to play with

servers will put leftovers in the take-out boxes for you




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