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October 15th, 2008 12:00 am Ethan Smith | Food Reviews & Stories

Restaurant Guide 2008


Formal and elegant, Pazzo, tucked into downtown’s Hotel Vintage Plaza, feels like nothing so much as fine dining circa 1950. Amid dark wood and deep booths, the restaurant serves high-caliber Italian food, progressing through the piatti from starters and salads to pastas to premium meat and fish as you move down the menu. The Macedonia salad is superb: peppery greens studded with ripe Oregon berries and goat cheese lightly dressed in vinaigrette. Heavier but equally tasty is the deep-fried asparagus in tempura-light batter with lilac-colored pinot noir aioli for dipping. Despite Pazzo’s old-fashioned ambience, some new ideas have found their way onto the menu: The Rat Pack never dined on tender squid and fresh jalapeños sautéed with olives, capers and tomatoes and served over pasta. If you’re feeling old-school, put on a dark Italian two-piece and order the steak, which Pazzo executes timelessly.

IDEAL MEAL: Macedonia salad, deep-fried asparagus, tagliatelle with squid and fresh jalapeños.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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