Quick Takes: Paesano's and Brick House Restaurant

Our recent dining adventures in Elk Grove took us to one of our favorite restaurants in town and one that we hope will become one. In case ...

Our recent dining adventures in Elk Grove took us to one of our favorite restaurants in town and one that we hope will become one.

In case of the favorite, our party recently visited Paesonos on Bond Road. Although the fashionably decorated Italian restaurant has been open a little less than three years, it has firmly established itself as one of the area's more popular dining destinations.

The attraction of Paesono’s is the friendly service, eclectic setting and particularly good food that is reasonably priced. Our Friday night visit was no different.

Our party had stromboli, vegetarian calzone, gemilli spinaci, fettuccini arrostitti along with an appetizer of fried polenta. All the dishes were freshly prepared and tasted wonderful. Including three cocktails and three soft drinks, our tab was less than $70.

For those who pay attention to junk mail, Paesono's had an ad in the recent edition of the Clipper Magazine with two-for-one offers. Fish it out of the recycle bin and do yourself a real favor. To bad that coupon came after we visited!

The other visit was to the recently opened Brick House Restaurant in Old Town Elk Grove. Let me start by saying that we only visited this establishment for a few evening cocktails, so we cannot judge the food.

The owners, brothers Franco and Geno Cassella have done a tremendous job of transforming the old brick building that once housed a butcher shop into a contemporary setting. With all the corporate restaurants dominating Elk Grove dining scene, the facility and setting alone deserves kudos.

Upon entering the restaurant we made our way to the lounge area and seated ourselves. As this establishment is not like Bob’s down the street, we thought a server would be along take our drink order and from the owners perspective, up-sell us on some appetizers.

Alas, after waiting for five minutes, we bellied up to the bar and ordered our drinks. The bartender, who turned out to be co-owner Franco Casella, apologized and quickly served up our Beefeater martini and split of champagne.

While enjoying our drinks, we served ourselves some happy hour marinated vegetables that nicely complimented our drinks. When time came for our second drink, still no server.

After going up to the bar again, this time Franco seemingly enlisted one of his patrons to serve our drinks and, most importantly our tab.

While everyone we encountered from the restaurant staff was friendly, the problem seemed to be, at least in the lounge area, there was no one aside from the bartender serving guest. There was another party who came and and like us sat themselves in the lounge after not being greeted by a hostess.

After no interaction from the staff, they just got up and left. To bad for the Casella’s as this customer was undoubtedly upset. I wouldn’t say the service was unfriendly or inattentive. The few brief encounters we had were pleasant if not a bit hurried. Rather they appeared to be understaffed for what turned out to be a busy Wednesday evening.

On the plus side the other patrons of the lounge, some who appeared to be regulars, were quite chatty and urged us to come back for dinner and try the garlic marinated flank steak, which we will on our next visit.

We really want this place to succeed for so many reasons and hope next time around the staffing levels are resolved.

Paesanos is located at 8519 Bond Road. Brick House is located in the heart of Old town Elk Grove at 9027 Elk Grove Blvd. See links to the left.

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Anonymous said...

My girlfriend and I visited The Brickhouse friday November 14th. We were quickly seated and greeted by our server. The server was very smiley. My girlfriend ordered a lemon drop martini. The server went on to ask whether or not she'd like the citron vodka in that martini and that "it's so good." My girlfriend agreed. About 15 minutes later the server came back with a pink drink. When she went to set it down she realized she brought the wrong drink. My G-friend, being way to nice, said that it was okay, she'd take the drink. The server said, "let me check to see if I ordered the wrong drink for you." She checked and came back with the cosmo...again and asked if my g-friend was sure it was okay that it was the wrong drink.
Not a good start.
We ordered that artichoke shrimp dip. It took about 15 minutes to get it to us. Mind you, there was a band playing in the bar, but the restaurant was FAR from crowded. There were maybe 3 other tables being served in the dining room.
The appetizer was awful. It was a drippy, milky cream sauce with chunks of artichokes and salad shrimp. Personally, salad shrimp is like fishing bait. It should never be served in a restaurant. The appetizer came with toasted bread...boring.
About 20-25 minutes after our appetizer, we finally got our soup. UGH. The soup was minestrone, but it looked like the cumulation of left over bits from the garbage disposal. I could barely make out what was a vegetable and the pasta was broken up into bits. It was overall flavorless.
Another 15 minutes past and we got our salad. By this time we were full because each course took so long to get to us. We asked to have the salad wrapped up and to just bring the main course. Yet another 15 minutes and no main course. We asked our server to check on it. She came back and said just a few more minutes...tick tock. Finally, we just asked her to wrap up our meals and we'd go straight to desert. We ordered the chocolate mousse...and guess what...they were all out.
AND, we still hadn't gotten out main dish yet.
We arrived at the restaurant at 7:40 and didn't leave until 9:10. And this time was spent waiting for food...not actually eating it.
Food rating: one star
Service: one star...I had to ask for water and she never came to our table to see if we needed anything. And she should have given my g-friend the right drink regardless of whether or not she was okay with it.

Elk Grove News said...

I liked your review. If you read this, let me know if it is okay to post this on the front page. Contact us at elkgrovenews@yahoo.com

Dan

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