The frozen pastas and sauces from Paciarino, sold all over town, are staples for our freezer – making for a quick & delicious meal in no time at all; but why it has taken us nearly three years to actually have a meal at one of Portland’s most-loved Italian eateries is a completely unsolvable mystery. Now that we’ve made time for a sit-down meal at Paciarino however, I am confident that we’ll be back often. Probably too often!
I spent the spring semester of my sophomore year abroad in Florence, Italy, and fell in love with the sites, sounds, and definitely, cuisine of the region. I am by no means an expert on Italian food (although I do know to pronounce bruschetta with a hard “c” sound), but ever since returning to the states, I’ve found myself dreaming of another trip to Italy, largely for the meals that I so dearly miss. There are a few Italian-inspired restaurants in Portland that we’ll always love, but we both agreed that the food at Paciarino just felt more Italian than that of any other restaurant in town. The ingredients are simple, wholesome, and fresh, which, in my mind, only further supports Paciarino’s authentic Italian cuisine and motto: ‘Eat well… live long.’
We slipped into Paciarino for an early lunch on Saturday, chose our meal from the menu at the door, and grabbed a rustic dinner table by the front window. We began our mid-day feast with the bruschette and a plate of bread and their pomodoro and pesto sauces (if you’ve ever had Paciarino, you know how much of a treat this is). The bruschette was heaping with fresh tomato, basil, onion, and garlic, and had us fighting over the last piece. I was overwhelmingly excited when my ravioli milano alla bolognese arrived, and Michael loved his gnocchetti al pesto. Both meals were simply perfect.
Our original plan was to stop by Gorgeous Gelato (post coming soon!), to complete our authentic Italian lunch, on the way back to the car, but we ended up needing a walk around the Old Port (with a mandatory stop into 2 Note) to make room for dessert.
I’m so glad that we finally made the time to grab a bite at Paciarino, and cannot wait to visit again soon!
Portland, Maine 04101