As I entered Piazza Del Pane I noticed it’s beautiful
design in what I call italian modern, it demonstrates
elegant ambiance that just narrowly avoids pretension and at the same time made me feel surprisingly
comfortable. Because of the beautiful Paso Robles day
I decided to dine on the front sidewalk patio.
I had to wait for my date, so why not have a glass of
wine and enjoy the view of the park. I was graciously
guided to a pleasant table for 2. On my left was a petite lady
enjoying an avocado salad, after ordering a glass of their Booker
“Pink” Rose (lovely by the way) I asked her about her salad.
Turns out it was an
Avocado Chicken Caesar Salad, tomato with Focaccia Croutons and Caesar
Dressing. She described that it was like eating fresh from the garden, she loved it. (Sometimes I enjoy eating vicariously through others). I explained to her that I was waiting for my date, I didn’t want her to think that my intentions were anything but culinary purity. She uncomfortably explained that she was visiting our ever expanding little town and assured me the only reason she was dining alone was that she had an appointment the next day. She wanted to be sure to check out Paso Robles before heading to Salinas for an apparent job interview. I got the feeling of “TMI” but I let her ramble. I had to waste time somehow, as I waited for my imminent companion. Just as I was about to order my next glass of wine (I kept it local this time with the
Cass Viognier Paso Robles, sweet, hints of honey). As luck would have it, I saw my dining companion Ally emerging from the park.
I quickly ordered her a “Virgin Mojito”:, Ally doesn’t indulge in Alcohol like I do.
As I greeted her I quickly introduced her to our dining
neighbor as a way to explain the eventual interjection
of more conversation and verbosity.
As we settled to look at our menus, I decided to com-
pletely focus on Ally, that would undoubtedly limit
our conversation with the dining neighbor. It did
work through most of dinner, but I’m getting ahead of
myself, let’s go back to dinner. We ordered the calamari to share, it was divine, a perfect match for my
quickly evaporating Viognier Cass wine. The Calamari
was nice and tender, we all have had the experience of
chewy Calamari, this was the exact opposite of that.
We then moved on to the entrees, Ally had the traditional Spaghetti and Meatballs with Marinara, House-made Veal and Pork meatballs, Parmesan and
yes I had a bite, absolutely delicious. I decided on the Sauteed Prawns Angel hair, White wine, Torn Basil, Parmesan and yes under the circumstances I did have to order another glass of wine. This time, Joel Gott Sauvignon
Blanc seem to be in order. I needed some citrus to
stand up to that basil and to somehow balance it
all out……… My pairing instincts were correct and they were divine together.
I took another bite of
Ally’s Spaghetti and meatballs and tried that pairing
and was disappointed, but I had to try.
We decided to have dessert at an undisclosed location.
As we waited for the check, yes you guessed it our
dining neighbor gave us more information on things
we cared nothing about. But in true kind neighbor
fashion we smiled, listened, and concurred. The moral
of this story is clear, Piazza Del Pane Italian Cafe has a
long name, great food, great ambiance, excellent wine,
and fine service. The takeaway from this particular
dinner is don’t start a meal or a conversation that you
don’t intend to finish, because one of them might last
a little too long.
Be sure to check out more of my reviews, written as
well as whiteboard animation videos.