Restaurant Review: Paesono’s

What and Where:

Paesano’s | 3411 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48104 | (734) 971-0484

Ratings (1=terrible, 5=mind-blowingly great)

  • Tastiness: 3.5
  • Service: 4
  • Price (1=super cheap, 5=super expensive): 3.5
  • Value: 3
  • General vibe: 3.5
  • Comments (as of 2/9/06)

    • Paesono’s is the quintessential “okay” to “pretty good” restaurant to me: there’s nothing really spectacular about this place, but there’s nothing at all horrible about it, either. More often than not, I’ve had pretty good food– not great, but pretty good.
    • They have all the usual red sauce Italian food at work, but you’re better off getting the specials here, even though they might seem a little odd. Annette and I (and then, after we went there, some people I went to dinner with from work) had an appetizer of shredded brussel sprouts with proscuitto and a bit of risotto in the middle. Sounds weird, right? Very very good, and I don’t care if you don’t like brussel sprouts.
    • On the other hand, I’ve also had food that can only be described as mediocre and/or not at all worth it.
    • Great deals on wine– they pride themselves on this, and they ought to.
    • We’ve always had very nice (and basically good) service. One time, Annette and I went there before a movie or something, and we split an entree that we had to send back, something that is very unusual for us. That sort of thing happens, and they just bent over backwards to make us happy, which they did.

    3 thoughts on “Restaurant Review: Paesono’s”

    1. My brother and sister both worked ther for a while so we ended up there quite often. Their vegitarian dishes are always interesting, but never spectacular. Their desire to create weird stuff is definitely what has kept them in business… that and the wine bar. The menu is certainly not traditional Italian fare. We haven’t been there since the siblings quit a few years ago though.

    2. Two comments:

      1. Their winter seasonal menu sucks, being mainly full of fennel and fish sauce, and heavy on the reduction sauces. Their Spring and Autumn menus have been extraordinary, the last few years, with lots of strong squashy/mushroomy dishes that make northern Italian cuisine so delectable [and work in the better American bistro/Padanian fusion they seem to be reaching for]. But a couple weeks back: eh.

      2. You have to remind them to rinse the wine glasses. They inevitably come to the table smelling like Palmolive (you’re soaking in it!), or perhaps as the sommelier said a couple weeks back, iodine. Which he said they use in many restaurants. But which they apparently rinse off at said other restaurants.

      But in maybe 20 visits in 8 years, the winter menu’s been the worst, and the soapiness constant. Avoid them, and things are pretty darned good.

    3. Steve,

      Thanks for the fair the review! I’m the sommelier (a.k.a wine guy!) at Paesano’s, and I just tripped across your blog while out playing on the web. Nice blog, too.

      Yes, we have a list of things that we’d love to improve upon; in fact, we have a new glass washer system being installed soon, so we can hopefully kiss the iodine issue goodbye! It’s good to hear what’s going right and what’s going wrong according to our guests, because it helps us keep our “eye on the ball,” so to speak.

      Anyway, introduce yourself next time your in!

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