Bene! (Paragary's Bar & Oven - Sacramento, CA)

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Rob and I decided on the spur of the moment to head out to dinner on Friday. "Paragary's!" I shouted. I had been wanting to finally try the seasonal Italian restaurant for some time, and had heard good things. The choice was also auspicious as I had an Entertainment Card, giving us one entree free. Shibby. I got home and hopped on my new best friend, and made my reservations for later that night.

Even before we arrived, the service was above excellent. We were running late and they had no issues moving our reservation back. Once we got there, we were informed by the hostess that there would be a 40 minute wait to eat outside, but we could have appetizers and drinks at the outside bar. On a Friday night at a popular restaurant, I generally expected this for the good seating so I was fine with that. Luckilly our wait only lasted 10 minutes, and we were quickly moved. We were hesitant with the Entertainment Guide card and if they would accept it (my paranoia taking full effect), but the manager was more than happy to put my fears at ease. Props; so far this place was 10 for 10. Our waitress, Naomi, was phenomenal. She was knowledgeable about the dishes, and offered excellent suggestions, refills magically appeared and she was on hand when needed. 11 for 10; I highly suggest you ask for her.

Back a bit, the reason we wanted to sit outside was for Paragary's now famous patio seating. Traditional Italian design with very Napa architechtural accents truly create an excelletn atmosphere. The lush ivy, well lit trees, and calming fountains truly create a calming effect perfect for the dining experience.

The appetizer list was in my opinion, the most decadent section on the menu. My heart almost stopped as I read my appetizer choice. A plate with a ball of warmed herb goat cheese rolled in pistachios, surrounded by roasted peaches, crostini, and the whole plate drizzeled with a red wine syrup arrived before us. The cheese and pistachios, mixed with the syrup, adorned on the peaches created this fan-f'ing-tastic sweet velvet flavor, with the syrup giving it a feral little bite. On the crostini, one could adore and gush over the herbed cheese and soft resistent crunch of the pistachios. True amazement. Snaps to the chef indeed for this little bitch.

Rob and I both had the same plate, a scene I try to avoid, but why betray your own taste for the sake of the blog? It would be a betrayal to us both if I ordered something I felt was a second-hand demo of the kitchen's talents just for the sake of another dish. Anywhose, we both had the handcut rosemary noodles with seared chicken, pancetta, artichokes, leeks, and garlic. Now, I'm not a fan of Italian (or European style cuisine to be more general) but this was damn good. The rosemary was visible, the taste surprising you with a verdant afterglow. Images of grass fields and lush Italian forrests appeared in my mind. The play with the small cut artichokes and leeks had a warming effect, like a small little mama mia was dicing them up herself. The pancetta and garlic was thankfully chopped finely, allowing little fireworks of flavor to explode in my mouth. My eyes were rolling in the back of my head from this.

As I have said before, I'm not the biggest fan of European cooking styles, but Paragary's went above and beyond. The biggest plus? The price. Even without our card, the price was more than reasonable for the level of service, atmosphere, presentation, and taste presented. Bene!

Paragary's Bar & Oven
1401 28th Street
Sacramento, CA 95816
(916) 457-5737


  1. Good to see someone properly enjoying themselves at a resturant. I personally love home-made meals, but the way you put your experience was most desirable.

  2. The goat cheese appetizer sounds stunning and gives me all kinds of ideas for the bag o' pistachios and cranberries I've got lousing up my kitchen counter. Yummy!

  3. Orhan - Home cooked is pretty hard to beat.
    Liz - Cranberries? *eyes perk up* Make salsa!
    Neelu - I would put it at about 30 bucks per person. Rob and I shared an appetizer, and we aren't really wine drinkers.


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