Irresistibly Italian, Irresistibly Paesano
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With Paesano’s popular Manoa restaurant undergoing renovations, its long list of fans will need to take the short drive to its Waimalu location. That’s OK. The oh-so-good appetizers are worth a little added effort.
Upon arrival you may want to try Homemade Cold Antipasto ($10.90), especially if you are dining with friends. The fresh salad is made with romaine lettuce, roasted bell peppers, carrots, olives, homemade sweet and sour pickles, salami, prosciutto, anchovies, Fontinella cheese and topped with an olive oil vinaigrette. The sweet peppers and carrots balance out the flavors of the salami, prosciutto and anchovies, and the dressing is bright, slightly sweet and tangy. You can try eating this massive plate yourself or share it to save room for Fresh Clam Hamakua ($13.90).
The clam dish isn’t on the menu, but feel free to order it. Fresh clams are sauteed in garlic, Hamakua mushrooms, chili flakes and a white wine butter sauce. The flavor is just awesome as each bite is soft, sweet and salty with a fresh hint of citrus. That pool of butter sauce on the bottom of the plate serves as a delicious dipping destination for the homemade bread that is baked each morning and delivered hot, flaky with a soft, buttery interior.
Another, slightly more spicy dipping option can be found in Homemade Hot Antipasto ($15.90). The deep platter is piled with clams, calamari, mussels, jumbo shrimp and sauteed with garlic, olive oil and a Cajun pepper butter sauce. Each sea-found morsel is covered in the deep red sauce that muddies up the fingers in the best way possible.
If that’s not enough reservation persuasion, Hot Carpaccio ($14.90) just may be what gets you motivated. Thinly sliced filet mignon is baked and topped with mushrooms and a homemade butter Maggi sauce. The meat is tender and the mushrooms do their job absorbing all the flavors to make the carpaccio a delight by itself or on top of the fresh bread we can’t stop talking about.
The Manoa Marketplace restaurant is scheduled to reopen July 16. Just to be safe, call 988.5923 or log on to paesanohawaii.com for more information. Or just head out to Waimalu.
Paesano Ristorante Italiano
- Waimalu Plaza Shopping Center
- 98-1277 Kaahumanu Street
- Aiea, HI 96701
- Manoa Marketplace
- 2752 Woodlawn Drive
- Honolulu, HI 96822
- (808) 485-8883 (Aiea)
- (808) 988-5923 (Manoa)
- Open Daily
- 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
- 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.