This week my eating club went to Guido's Pizza and Tapas, located at 5046 Shaw, on the Hill. The atmosphere is cozy, smoking is limited to the bar and children would be welcome. Parking was no problem.
The menu at Guido's is curiously schizophrenic. It contains specialities from Italy and Spain, which means there are things like lasagne and things
like paellas. Both cold and warm tapas are offered, as well as pizza and panini, usually a tasty Italian sandwich, but here the definition broadens to include things like burgers and BLTs. Basically, this is a good place to go if you want to try something a little different and your dining partner has stodgy tastes. It would not be recommended for vegetarians.
One person ordered a dinner salad. This was declared tasty, with green leafy lettuce and red onion. Dressing was typical. A pepperoni pizza arrived, and was also appreciated. The diner who ordered it said it was like Imo's (meaning thin crust and provel cheese) but better toppings and sauce. Three hot tapas were also ordered. The Shrimp and Codfish was
excellent. It probably had previously frozen shrimp, but the seasonings were fantastic - onion, tomato, garlic, basil and even some cumin. Highly
recommended. The Shrimp was not as good, but still passed. The Artichokes with proscuitto were bad. In all fairness, the waiter strenuously warned
us that this dish was not good. Unfortunately, that is a red flag for one bull of a diner. He always orders the scariest thing he can find. Anyway, the artichokes appeared to have just come out of the can, some of that juice remained, and none of the promised white wine sauteeing seemed to have occured. The proscuitto was really good, though, as were the peas. We thought that the chef should have concentrated more on this aspect than the enormous volume of artichokes. The chicken empanillas (not sure about spelling) were extremely good - inside the flaky, nicely browned crust were green olives, chicken chunks and a cheesy sauce. These were a hit. Three
of us ordered paellas. Good waiter told us this would be at least 30 minutes, and we eagerly anticipated. Servings were large and would easily serve two each. The chicken chunks were very dry, indicating to us that perhaps they had been overcooked before joining the rice. Also, the bay scallops and shrimp were overcooked. Rice was perfectly done and the flavorings were very good. Maybe somehow Guido could stick this one in the oven for not quite so long. Green and red peppers, mushrooms and clams were acceptable. I would be willing to try this again, perhaps with some assurance from the waiter that it would not be overdone.
No one had any room for dessert. Most of us drank a great red wine or two. The wine list is small but very nice and is a good reason to choose Guido's over other places on the Hill. They have both white and red
sangria. Also, service was extremely well done. The waiter was pleasant and very receptive to questions and discussion. His interest in our dining
pleasure seemed sincere and made the experience much better than the food might have indicated. Prices were also very reasonable. Ambience was very nice. All in all, I would recommend this place with the caveat that you LISTEN to the good waiter.