Whenever my boyfriend Matthew comes to visit, Pagliacci’s is our go-to for delicious food, generous portions, and cheap wine. Famous for its lines out the door and along the sidewalk, Pag’s is almost always busy; whether for brunch, lunch, or dinner. While some would argue that this constant flow of patrons is a result of a lot of undeserved hype, I would beg to differ. I have visited Pagliacci’s a number of times, and have always found it to be worth the wait, despite the occasional bump along the way with service.
The tables of Pagliacci’s are nestled close together, with very little space to squeeze in between. The same tends to be the case with the tiny waiting area that is always full. However, there is a definite sense of intimacy that is created with the lack of space – especially in the evenings, when the lights are dimmed and candles adorn the tables. Inevitably, this is a place where you will see couples of all ages enjoying a romantic dinner. Also worth mentioning is the plethora of art on the walls, which, although chaotic, is always interesting to look at; and the live music at 8:15pm Sunday-Wednsdays (go for the music – it really is entertaining!).
Because Pagliacci’s is so busy, their service suffers a little bit. The occasional long waits to order, long waits for bread, and rushed servers are simply the reality of dining at Pag’s. I’ve never had absolutely terrible service, but I’ve also never had fantastic service.
The bread at Pagliacci’s will blow your mind. A perfect balance of moistness, chewiness, oil, and salt; this bread is what many people come to Pag’s for. It is made in house, and is bottomless – aka, you can basically eat as much as you want. My advice: don’t overeat on the bread. I know it’s amazing, but you want to enjoy your entree too, don’t you?
For our entrees this time, I got the Ravioli Paradisio, and Matthew got the Sophia. We were both thrilled with our choices. Mine was creamy, hearty, and the blue cheese/sundried tomato combo gave it a strong, appealing flavour kick. I got a half order, and it was more than enough food. Matthew loved the creamy seafood appeal of the Sophia, which apparently is one of the more popular menu items. We also ordered some wine, which is extremely reasonably priced!
For generous portions and delicious food, the price is right at Pagliacci’s. Their pastas range from $13.oo-16.50 for a full, and $9.50-12.50 for a half order. Factoring in the delicious free bread and cheap wine, you could very well have leftovers from your meal, even with a half order.
Pagliacci’s offers a great dining experience. While I have only ever been there for dinner, I have heard that their Sunday brunch is well worth trying as well. Great food and pricing, decent service, and a lively yet intimate atmosphere make it an awesome place to share a meal with someone you love.