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September 26, 2003
From journal Pittsburgh as the Locals See It
, West Virginia
November 6, 2002
But now I’m trying to imagine Greek music. That’s what the sign in the window says: "The Greek Flames every Wednesday, 10 p.m." Same food--I asked. I can’t make it on Wednesdays, but like the idea. I’ll have to be content with fabulous Italian food and entertainment of the same when I return on the weekend. After all, I’ve not been disappointed yet at Paparazzi, my favorite restaurant on Carson Street.
I can’t describe the traditional Italian decor, for this establishment is not cluttered with wine bottles or elegant cherubs either. The decor is simple and sophisticated. There are many mirrors, the smell of garlic and olive oil, and the music. It’s a pleasing atmosphere, great service, nice crowd, large oval bar trimmed in brass with tables to the side set with crisp linen, good musical accompaniment, good wine list, a well-run establishment. The main attraction is the food. I have taken several people there and been thanked as many times. I always leave so pleased I plan my next trip on the way home and wonder what it is that eludes description and makes me favor the place so.
The menu certainly plays a part. I love the traditional Italian favorites, and this place has them all: veal, chicken, pasta, and seafood dishes I make at home. That’s it! Paparazzi cooks the way I do! I use an authentic Italian cookbook from Sam’s Club, one of those with only 30 special recipes, each one hours to prepare. So, Paparazzi takes the time to prepare everything to perfection! I’ve enjoyed the chicken marsala, chicken piccata, shrimp scampi, linguine with clam sauce, fettuccine alfredo, and pizza. All superb! Warm bread is served with a side dish of garlic oil loaded with fresh basil.
The pizza deserves special note. I labor intently to make my white-sauce pizza as good as it gets, so I consider myself a good judge of white pizza. Paparazzi’s is tops, loaded with rich alfredo sauce with lots of butter and garlic, topped with a generous sprinkling of diced fresh tomatoes, spinach, chicken, pine nuts, fresh basil, and crumbled feta. I’ll search no further for the best white pizza in the world! My friend says the tomato sauce measures up too. We usually get a small one of each--for an individual--and have to bring some home.
All this, yet we spend only $10 - $15 each for dinner. Like other restaurants on Carson Street, Paparazzi is not expensive. I am reminded of this good reason to search out neighborhood establishments a little distance from downtown. This restaurant is open seven days with entertainment Wednesday through Saturday evenings.
From journal Pittsburgh's South Side: Shopping, Dining, Theater