Great pizza and pasta in a strip mall? I didn't believe it until our friends Rich and Kathy took us to Paesan's Restaurant in Winthrop. Literally in the shadow of the jumbo jets flying overhead from Logan Airport, Paesan's reminds me of the local Italian restaurant from my childhood with checked plastic table cloths on the table, a baseball game playing on the TV, Frankie Sinatra on the radio, and bottles of Chianti, some with candles, which serve as humble decorations.
We go for the pizza, and pride ourselves in nearly finishing two whole pies, because it's just about as authentic as you can get outside of New York. Choices include the traditional, as well as buffalo chicken (Rich and Kathy's favorite), Pompeii (tomato slices, feta, black olives, and mozzarella), Melanzo (eggplant), and the New Yorker (garlic, feta, sun dried tomatoes, and mozzarella). But as we relish each slice, we have noticed people digging into plates of pasta and arrancini with obvious delight. Their homemade specialties di casa include: gnocchi, pasta with meatballs and sauce, arrancini (rice balls stuffed with meat), and an array of the traditional items--veal and chicken parmigiana, shrimp and calamari scampi, chicken marsala and francese. Think supper at the Bada Bing with Tony Soprano and you'll know what to expect. Nothing fancy, but good, honest food that grandma (or grandpa, in my case) used to make.
Warning: Yankee fans are advised not to wear any part of the uniform upon entering the premises.
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Winthrop, MA 02152