Leaving Lafayette … for now

Okay, I promise, this will be my last post about Lafayette Village for a while!

On Saturday night I ate at Paparazzi, one of a couple of eateries now open at the new shopping center (with more to come, including a Thai restaurant).

Light wood tables (no linens), warm colors, archways and other design features make for a comfortable ambience. (The red paint used in the pizza oven area is the same red as parts of my kitchen walls.) Two bars — a traditional alcohol version and one flanking the brick pizza oven — bump right against the main dining room. The mix of music was good.

Based on overheard greetings and conversations I noticed a good number of Italian-American patrons in the place.

Service was great. Loans of penlights and reading glasses are available for those of us who are low-light menu-reading challenged. Various managers walk around checking in with diners. Shanie, the restaurant’s hospitality manager, stopped by to chat with me for a bit.

My amuse bouche was a light little tomato, garlic, shallot, basil and olive oil salad that I ate atop the house-made flatbread crostini. I loved the crostini, which were herby and ultra-thin — a cross between crunchy and chewy.

The highlight of my dinner was the salad course. The rucola salad was comprised of a mix of arugula, radicchio, creamy crumbles of gorgonzola, slices of pear and flat shards of ultra-crunchy fried pancetta, it was a fantastic combination of textures and tastes.

Freshly grated cheese from a big hunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano was a nice alternative to the grocery-store-like flakes offered at some Italian restaurants.

I excitedly ordered the fettuccine carbonara for my entree, drawn by the menu description that mentioned guanciale (Italian bacon), cheese, onion and egg yolks but no cream — the traditional version of carbonara. But alas, it arrived very creamy and liquidy. I’ve just never been a big fan of creamy pasta sauces. Too much richness. But still, Paparazzi’s carbonara would please the majority of diners (indeed, my server said some people come in for it twice a week) and was delicious on a cold, snowy winter’s night.

Overall, my experience was very comfortable (not always so for single diners at many restaurants) and delicious, and I look forward to returning.

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About atarheeltastes

I'm a passionate foodie who started this "temporary" blog during a gustatory tour of Tuscany. I decided to continue, since I love to dream about, plan for, prepare, eat and write about food!
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