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Eat This

Paesano’s flavors continue to satisfy

Story By Ali Resich Photos By Nathalie Walker
May 27 - June 2, 2012

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It’s always exciting to try new restaurants and meet new flavors, but at the end of the day, most of us take comfort in returning to our tried-and-true favorites – the restaurants we grew up with.

That’s why Dining Out heads to Paesano Ristorante Italiano whenever we need a fix of Italian food. Its Manoa location has been a staple in the community for decades, while the newer Waimalu spot has quickly garnered a loyal customer base. One of the eatery’s most popular dishes is Cioppino ($30.90), a harmonious blend of mixed seafood – currently featuring local monchong – Hamakua mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, sugar peas and capers simmered in a wine, lemongrass, saffron and fennel tomato broth.

“The sauce is light and sweet. It has a lot of flavor, a lot of fragrance,” describes head chef and co-owner Gerry Quach. Garlic bread on the side is perfect for soaking up every last bit of the gorgeous blend.

Diners also love the cozy establishment’s creative appetizers that add layers of flavor to each dining experience. Try Cold Carpaccio ($12.90), featuring thinly sliced beef topped with onion and capers. An accompanying house-made sauce mixes olive oil, Maggi sauce and a touch of Tabasco.

Or dive into Sea Asparagus and Hamakua Tomato Salad ($11.90), which presents Hamakua tomato, locally grown sea asparagus, buffalo mozzarella, onions, capers and julienned anchovies on top.

What makes this dish so irresistible, though, is its delicate balance of flavors. After the juicy, salty sea asparagus is blanched, it is dressed with a homemade ginger-infused balsamic vinaigrette, which has a touch of sweetness to perfectly complement the vegetable-like herb.

For comforting Italian eats you can always count on, take a trip to Paesano Ristorante Italiano.

Paesano Ristorante Italiano

  • Where
    • Waimalu Plaza Shopping Center
    • 98-1277 Kaahumanu Street
    • Aiea, HI 96701
    •  
    • Manoa Marketplace
    • 2752 Woodlawn Drive
    • Honolulu, HI 96822
  • Call
    • (808) 485-8883 (Aiea)
    • (808) 988-5923 (Manoa)
  • Hours
    • Open Daily
    • 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
    • 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.