August 11th, 2008 20:00 EST
Gaetano`s bring a taste of Italy to Paso Robles.
As you could imagine on my 7 day trip through Paso Robles, you do a lot of eating out. As an Italian, I can get picky about my food, I want great food, good atmosphere and reasonable prices. On a tip from Joe Rosilez Senior, proprietor of J. Paul Rosilez Winery we went to Gaetano`s Ristorante on Spring Street. I was shocked when we showed up at 8:00 pm on a Wednesday evening to find that there were no tables available.
I spoke with the owner Gaetano Marsano and told him that we were friends of Joe. He told us not to worry and have a seat outside, he provided us with a bottle of wine until a table became available. Not 30 minutes later we were sitting at a table inside enjoying our wine, appetizers and of course bread with olive oil!
Gaetano`s is a small intimate Italian restaurant that has a very comfortable atmosphere and European elegance. The restaurant is a little green house with a white picket fence. It has about 12 tables inside and a patio area with 4 or so tables. The food is southern Italian with everything from pastas, pizzas and seafood dishes from the Mediterranean region. The rest
Gaetano Marsano was born in Sicily. Before coming to Paso Robles to open his restaurant he worked in his family`s restaurant in Rome. He has even cooked in Spain, France, Switzerland, and eventually San Luis Obispo, where he worked for Cafe Roma for 10 years. Over time he developed a passion for food and people.
His passion can be seen as soon as he greets you with hugs and a traditional Italian welcome. He was funny to, he said, If you don`t like the food, just throw it out the window, just be sure to put the window up! " I am not sure if this is true but the rumor is that he was a body builder at one time. He definitely looks like he has spent a lot of years working out.
The food was extremely good. I had muscles and calamari for appetizers including fresh focacia bread followed by gnocchi for my main course. The food comes in oversized portions and could easily feed two. The 4 of us ate for $100 including tip.
The restaurant boasts many great dessert choices including cheesecake, a flourless chocolate cake, tiramisu and spumoni. They also have a very nice wine list with dozens of local and Italian wines. The next time your in Paso Robles and you want a great Italian meal be sure to visit Gaetano`s.
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Signing Off and Pigging Out,
Rocco Boss Hog Loosbrock