Off-Mass: Paisano’s

Lawrence doesn’t offer many Italian restaurants, but the ones we have seem to be well known for their own character and specialty. Paisano’s joins this small club, and has set itself apart, literally, by its off-mass location by Iowa Street. This past Sunday evening, the mister and I headed to this festive establishment – with gift certificate in hand (thank you, Jerry & Kathryn!) – to enjoy some pasta, cheese, and vino.

Yep! Spaghetti & meatballs. Surprised?

Pizza Florentine. (+cheese, +cheese, +cheese)

We pulled up to Paisano’s around 8pm on Sunday. As we exited the car, we were confronted with the unmistakable aroma of sweet pasta sauce and cheesy bread sticks escaping the establishment and inviting us inside. Definitely a good first impression. Once inside, we took a booth near the middle of the main dining area, sharing the space with familiar faces such as Sophia Loren, the Rat Pack, and Joe DiMaggio. The decor, while genuinely kitschy, includes quintessential Italian items in every available space (extra large wine bottles, decorative canisters of olives, etc.). And what would an Italian restaurant be without romantic music? Sweet holiday music played softly in the background as we placed our orders.

Starting with a glass of wine (all glasses of wine only $5 on Sundays!), I decided to go with the pizza florentine. The mister started with scotch, and ordered the vodka tomato cream pasta (in the Create Your Own Pasta! section) with Sicilian meatballs. If you’ve ever been to Paisano’s you’re well aware that the first food items you’ll receive are a big basket of warm bread sticks and a bowl of mixed salad. I’m a huge fan of starting a dinner in this fashion. However, these appetizers left little room for my actual meal (isn’t that how it always goes? sheesh). I enjoyed the fresh veggies on my pizza, and the extra extra cheese was welcomed. In my state of chowing down, I’m afraid I forgot to steal a bit of my husband’s pasta. Luckily, Paisano’s serves large dishes, so we both left the restaurant with to-go boxes in hand (mmmm, left-over pasta dinners tonight!).

Famous Italians grace the walls.

Bar + lounge area near entryway.

If you’re interested in large portions of cheesy, saucy Italian food, Paisano’s is your spot. For two drinks, an appetizer and two entrees, our bill totaled about $48.00 (pre-tip), and we took home our extra left-overs for a second meal. This is especially great for those of you who live further (out west) from Mass St; it’s a nice option if you’re not interested in coming across town to dine out.

Find Paisano’s at: 2112 W 25th St, Lawrence KS 66047. [785.838.3500]

One Response to “Off-Mass: Paisano’s”

  1. Anthony says:

    $5 glasses of wine on Sundays AND create your own pasta? Hittin’ this joint up next time I’m in your neck of the woods, fo’ serious.