Favorite Restaurant: Paradiso
Reviewed Paradiso: Friday, December 6, 2013
I absolutely love Paradiso! Definitely one of the best restaurants in the Bay Area; it’s a true hidden gem (but maybe not so hidden anymore!) The service is always exceptional. I have tried nearly everything on the menu and I have never been disappointed with any new dish I have tried. You cannot go wrong here!
I often end up getting more than one dessert because they are so delicious and I can never just pick one! The Chocolate Molten Cake is definitely one of my favorite desserts, along with the Affogato and Hazelnut Gelato. Nasser is my favorite waiter- he will always make sure you are totally satisfied and will make you laugh.
Paradiso has an excellent wine list and cocktail menu. I have never had to wait for a table here, but I would recommend making a reservation on a Friday or Saturday night. The atmosphere is warm and inviting- there are soft lights all over and it is decorated in warm colors. Mike Wiesner, the owner, recently bought the store next door to Paradiso and opened up a gorgeous wine bar. Paradiso is really a terrific place for any event- a date night, catching up with friends, or celebrating the special events in your life. Highly, highly recommend.
Occupation: Sound Designer and Mixer
Favorite Restaurant: Smoke Berkeley
Reviewed Paradiso: Friday, November 22, 2013
Wow, what a great restaurant. When I think about going out to a nice place to eat, San Leandro is not the first place I think of. That has changed. Where we live in the Oakland Hills, a few miles south of Montclair, driving to Paradiso is actually closer than heading to our usual spots in Berkeley or Albany.
When you enter, you are immediately hit with very inviting smell. You immediately know you are going to have a great meal. The staff were very friendly, attentive, but not too attentive. They held our table when we called to say we were stuck in traffic, even though we were 30 minutes late. The decor is modern but warm.
Our appetizers were a special Kale Caesar Salad and a Mediterranean Plate. The salad didn’t have a traditional Caesar dressing. It was more like vinaigrette. With shaved parmesan and croutons, it was just perfect.
The Mediterranean Plate included hummus, feta, pita, marinated red pepper and pitted olives. The hummus had a little bite to it, which I loved. The pita: soft and oh so good.
Thank goodness that my wife and I shared plates so that I could taste more items. She had Short Ribs with polenta and vegetables that were sautéed (I think).The ribs were so tender that you could cut them with the side of your fork. The polenta was buttery and smooth. It was the kind of warm creamy goodness that I almost slipped into a reverie when eating it.
My order was the Seafood Ravioli special. The ravioli were just right, and the combination of shrimp, crab and whitefish was fantastic. The creamy vodka sauce was just right.
Dessert was a wonderful slice of Pumpkin Pie with bourbon whipped cream.
We definitely feel like we found a great place to eat that’s within a 20 minute drive from our home. It’s a great restaurant – on par with our favorite places in Berkeley or Emeryville – and closer to home.
Occupation: Marketing Program Manager
Location: San Francisco
Favorite Restaurant: Contigo
Reviewed Paradiso: Friday, December 13, 2013
Tucked away in San Leandro, Paradiso truly is a slice of paradise. I was not sure what to expect when we arrived but we left full, happy and excited to find such a great spot tucked away in the East Bay.
Sadly, due to an accident on the bridge, we were 45 minutes late for our dinner reservation, but were still sat immediately though they were very busy. Our server was wonderful and extremely engaging. She helped guide us through the extensive regular menu as well as a long list of specials. Everything we settled on was wonderful.
We started off with a generous portion of fresh, light, crisp Calamari; some of the best I have ever had. We also split a delicious spinach, pomegranate, goat cheese and candied pecan salad. It was fresh, simple and absolutely delicious. As if we needed more food, we also ordered Mini Lamb Chops with Caprese. These were perfectly cooked medium-rare, and crusted in great spice. They were meaty, tender and satisfying.
The real star of this restaurant was the Short Rib and Polenta; we could not get enough of it! The generous portion allowed us to share it between two people and still walk out with some to-go. The meat was fork tender and melted in your mouth. It was bathed in a rich, savory sauce that mixed perfectly with the creamy polenta on the side of the plate. One of the most comforting dishes I have had in a long, long time.
For the amount of food that we ate, the bill was quite reasonable. On top of the delicious food, the service was attentive and informative. The restaurant was filled with families, friends celebrating birthdays, couples on dates and friends sharing a laugh. This was a great trip over the bridge and I look forward to going back!