Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Restaurant Review: Paesano's 1604

Paesano's is a San Antonio staple.  The Paesano's Restaurant Group has recently celebrated the 40th anniversary of the original restaurant.  The location on 1604 opened up around the same time I came to San Antonio in 2005.  I've been to the 1604 location once for a work lunch and the Riverwalk location once for a dinner with Scott's family last year.  For Scott's birthday, Paesano's 1604 was our restaurant choice for our celebration.

We were seated in the enclosed portion of the patio.  It was an unexpectedly cold night, but even next to the exterior gate-like doors that open to the rest of the patio it was very nice.  I didn't have a good view of the rest of the interior, but I did like the light fixtures in our area, and the large marble tile was very nice.  If it was a nice night, like most spring and fall evenings, the patio would be a very nice place for dinner.

We started with a bottle recommended by the waiter, Mollydooker Boxer Shiraz.  It was more expensive than we were originally looking at, but it was an excellent bottle of wine.  It was spicy and fruity, just wet enough to be a refreshing accompaniment to the rest of the dinner and had a really smooth finish.  Instead of using sulphites as a preservative, the Mollydooker line uses nitrogen gas instead.  So they recommend to do what they call the "Mollydooker Shake" in order to distribute the gas before serving as an alternative to decanting.  This wine is definitely worth a repeat.  The manager said that it was difficult to come by, so we'll probably need to do some searching for it.

We started with the Mascarpone Garlic Bread.  At first, it looks and smells more like Parmesan, which they most likely used to get a bit of a crust on it.  But when you get into the middle of the bread, it has the creaminess I expected from mascarpone cheese.  Probably the cheapest thing on the menu, but it was excellent.

We both ordered entrees off the specials menu.  Scott had a Baked Tortellini that was very well done.  The tortellini almost tasted like it was made from homemade pasta, but I couldn't quite tell.  The tomato-cheese sauce that came with the tortellini looked kind of clumpy.  Overall it was good, but not quite memorable.

I had the Roasted Sea Bass.  I almost always go to fish when Scott and I don't split an entree since he doesn't touch the stuff.  He really missed out on this one.  The sea bass was cooked perfectly and it almost melted in my mouth with the tomato ragout sauce that came with it.  The peas that came with it were also cooked perfectly.  The Spanish style rice wasn't as sticky as I expected it to be.  I think they used a different grain of rice that kept the grains separate and chewy.  An excellent dish.

It's a little out of our price range for the everyday meal, but could be very doable with split portions.  It was a great place for a nice night out and we had a good time.  There's a reason why this restaurant has made it for 40 years, and I expect that they will still be serving dishes like these for another 40 years.


Amanda said...

I've never been to the Riverwalk location. I hadn't realized they had one. But of all the times I've been I prefer the Quarry location to the 1604 location. Not that we can afford to go all that often. I think Jason and I have only gone once ourselves and twice we were taken there by my dad (who insisted on paying).

Ann said...

I remember going but I don't remember what I had. It was nice out and we sat on the patio. It was off season so it wasn't too crowded or hot. It was a nice meal, also not paid for by me. I just don't remember the food!