Paul Manno’s

Monday is going to be rough.

After having an amazing extended weekend in Saint Louis with my parents and my in-law’s, getting back in the swing of things sounds less than desirable.

In typical holiday fashion, it was a weekend of eating, eating, and more eating. We capped off the binge with an enjoyable meal at Paul Manno’s.

The unassuming restaurant, located in an off-putting strip center, delivered great Sicilian food and impeccable service, reinforcing that one should never judge a book by its cover. With the wine flowing and Paul Manno himself watching over our table, our party of eight had a nice, relaxed meal.

We started with flash-fried calamari enhanced with zesty lemon juice and served with tomato basil marinara dipping sauce. For my salad, I devoured the Caprese tower, consisting of layers of roma tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, and breaded eggplant, covered in a balsamic reduction. The eggplant was a unique and welcome addition to the ubiquitous Caprese salad.

I love an Italian restaurant that offers pasta dishes as a side dish, so I’m able to experience the best of both worlds. I ordered the Chilean Sea Bass with Lemon-Caper Sauce with a side of the Rigatoni Arrabiata. The sea bass was perfectly broiled, flaky and moist; the sauce was tangy and slightly salty without overpowering the light fish.

A homemade cannoli, Italian wedding cake and pumpkin cream cake graced our table for dessert. All were delicious, although cannolis are not my thing, but the Italian wedding cake was by far my favorite. The fluffy white cake with even fluffier frosting was so simple, but so good. The strawberries and powdered sugar were great finishing touches.

What a sweet way to end a great holiday weekend.

Calamari

Caprese Tower

Chilean Sea Bass

Side of Rigatoni

Cannoli

Italian Wedding Cake

Pumpkin Cream Cake with Caramel and Ice Cream

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