by Olivia Hefner
Recently, a plethora of restaurants with differing cultural influences have popped up in Parkersburg. One such flavorful gem is Paolo’s. Paolo’s combines a traditional Italian flavor with all the down-home-home comforts of an American menu.
Paolo’s is located on River Road in Vienna beside Holl’s Chocolate. The dishes are priced moderately and the menu offers something for almost every palette. The portions are also quite generous; a lunch portion of pasta is more than enough to qualify as a serving size.
The restaurant possesses a warm and inviting atmosphere with soothing colors and brick accents. The lights are a warm yellow with small string lights in the decorative trees. A scene in Italy is depicted on one wall.
The menu for Paolo’s is huge, almost too large to make a decision. It has several different varieties of pizza including traditional Italian like Margherita and several vegetarian pizza options. They also serve many meat dishes, salads, Stromboli, calzones and pastas.
One dish had a description claiming, “it is believed to be the best in town.” Well, who isn’t up for a good food dispute? The dish in question was a fettuccine alfredo that included a side salad.
To order this classic dish, contact with the wait staff was necessary and in this case, quite the experience. The restaurant was empty, and the waiter clearly put his entire heart into his job. He was friendly, prompt and had a great personality. He socialized, but didn’t become intrusive on the meal. After taking our order, he threw in an extra side salad, free of charge, for the other member of the dining party whose meal didn’t include one.
The salads arrived almost as quickly as the order went in. They were well proportioned with several different types of lettuce and vegetables to make it quite enjoyable. However, the House Dressing is plain Italian dressing, not bad, just not a special dressing.
After a few more minutes of waiting and several check-ups by the extremely attentive waiter, the main dishes arrived. The Alfred smelled wonderful, and tasted just the same. The noodles were cooked perfectly, and none were sticking together. The sauce was buttery and rich, but could have been a little thicker as a good amount fell off of the noodles in transition from plate to mouth.
The other entrée on the table was a personal veggie pizza. The amount of toppings on this monster was surprising and quite diverse. It was served very hot, though, causing many of the toppings to slide off the crust. However, once it cooled down, absolutely wonderful.
Finally, the question was asked, “Did you save any room for dessert?” Well, not really, but it was a new restaurant so it had to be done. They had a very limited dessert menu in comparison to the sprawling entrée menu, but they did have cupcakes. Cupcakes are the perfect dessert, so the decision had been made. “One chocolate raspberry cupcake, please.”
The little plate made it to the table with two forks, as requested. The cupcake was very small and squat, but quite pretty. First bite, no chocolate flavor, but quite a bit of raspberry, almost overpowering. Second bite, same thing. It was a little disappointing, but it was the only thing about this restaurant that was. In the end, the cupcake ended up being free of charge due to its small size, so that was nice.
When the bill came, the realization that a wallet would be needed to pay and both were left at home, hit pretty quickly. After informing the waiter who was more than accommodating, a trip home was made and the situation settled. Once again, this restaurant flaunts an amazing wait staff.
Overall, the experience at Paolo’s was great. The staff was nice, the room was calming and the visit included free food. If affordable, quality dining is a must, Paolo’s is the place.