Here's Our Story....
When Jack Allen opened Paolo's Restaurant in 1958, it was the only restaurant in the valley that served more than steak and baked potatoes.
The fact that the four-star restaurant is widely considered to be the finest Italian restaurant in the valley almost half a century later is a testament to the standards Jack set and his family has maintained.
Giacchino Paolo Aiello, as Jack was originally named, was a leader. Paolo's introduced oysters, Icelandic scampi and Belgian endive to this area, and his dishes won national acclaim. Long before it was politically correct, he selected primarily organically-grown produce when buying top quality ingredients. Today most meats, poultry and game are free-range and naturally raised.
In an era when men dominated the restaurant business, Jack's daughters, Carolyn and Jenny, became involved. Carolyn took over the kitchen when her mother died in 1979 and three years ago assumed the duties of executive chef.
Her family heritage is evident in the Sicilian dishes sprinkled throughout the menu.
Her extensive training and travel are reflected in the specialties of other regions of Italy, north and south.
In keeping with her father's tradition of using the finest ingredients she changes the menu seasonally.
Some of the delicacies never are on the menu because they are available so briefly. Truffles may be expressed in from Italy's Piedmont area, for example, soft shell crabs from the east coast and some exotic varieties of mushrooms similarly are offered only verbally.
Some of the desserts rarely change. Jack Allen's New York Style Cheesecake has remained a favorite despite the recent popularity of cholesterol bashing and calorie counting. There is a steady demand for tiramisu and Paolo's rich chocolate truffle torte, all made by Paolo's own pastry chef.
Paolo's has become synonymous with fine dining, but it isn't necessarily formal. The restaurant's espresso bar opens at 6:30 a.m. for those who like fine flavor with their morning caffeine jolt.
From 11 am until late evening closing, a separate menu is served at the bar and its 16 tables. This consists of all the desserts and some of the standard items from the dining room menu plus a number of selections available only at the bar - salads, sandwiches and pizzas.
The main dining room is open for lunch and dinner, Monday through Friday and for dinner on Saturday. Seating begins as early as 5:30 for dinner on evenings when something is happening at the Center of the Performing Arts or Montgomery.