Plans were changed by you-know-who, so we went there last night for dinner.
We intended, at Mother's express request - don't ask me why - to go to Franky & Johnny's. Maybe she was still doing her New Orleans thing. But when we drove up at 8 pm, there were about 100 people out front waiting to get in.
We drove to Dick & Jenny's. I ran in and asked and Jenny said 40 minute wait. I asked for suggestions and she offered Dante's Kitchen. I thought of Padrino's as it's just around the corner and there's also Sarah's, the off chance at Brigtsen's, Cote Sud's not far and there's Cafe Volage.
As far as I understand it, the Padrino's situation is that there was a bad fire in October and the old owner, Willy, sold to new owners who took over, rebuilt the place and are serving a somewhat similiar menu but essentially it's a completely different operation. The wine list is totally different, alas no Primitivo. The service is very unpolished, to be polite about it.
We tried a Zinfandel and a Chardonnay and both were respectable. There was some discussion that I partially caught between my fiancee and a waiter about a Kendall Jackson that they do not sell by the bottle.
I didn't catch the Kendall Jackson explanation because I was explaining some Italian dishes to my Mother. She loves some Italian food but pretends not to know anything about any of it except that she doesn't like tomato paste based dishes (neither do I). She asks stuff over and over, like "What's in that Veal Parmesian again, dear?"
When the wine came, we had a mishap. Some of the Chardonnay actually went onto the table in a steady stream, as the waiter was totally missing the glass.
I saw the spill and looked at the waiter, he wasn't looking at the glass at all, he was looking at me. No one else noticed the spill until I squawked. I guess I should have been flattered, but my Mother and fiancee were both there and there was wine running all over the table! They wound up changing the table cloth and comping the bottle, a third of which had gone onto the table cloth.
Frank ordered the signature dish, Chicken Padrino,
a familiar holdover from the previous regime (stuffed with Prosciutto and Spinacci). They brought him Chicken Parmesian instead. It turned out that the waiter had written down Chicken Parmesian instead of Chicken Padrino. Distracted again, I guess. They offered to make the Chicken Padrino but advised that it would take 20 minutes, so Frank ate the Parmesian. He said it was pretty good. They comped the Chicken Parmesian.
I had a Mahi-Mahi crusted with Parnesian and it wasn't bad. My Mother had a cup of soup (I can't remember what it was exactly) and the Spaghetti Arrabiatta (they call it something else but it's oil, garlic and some red pepper.
Both of the entrees came with a side of spaghettini (angel hair, if you call it that) and your choice of soup or salad. Frank and I each had a small Ceasar. They also offer a House Green Salad.
The food was fair and I'd go back another time. Don't expect much from the service though and girls, don't wear ANYTHING eyecatching.