Thursday, October 24, 2013

Padri's Restaurant and Martini Bar

Padri's Restaurant and Martini Bar
29002 Agoura Rd, Agoura Hills, CA 91301
Phone:(818) 865-3700

Tucked into the side of Agoura Road in Agoura Hills Padri's has a quaint, old-world charm that makes it stand apart from the citified decor around it. If you disregard the mini-mall behind, you would swear you were out in the country, most likely in Italy, not Los Angeles. The old-fashioned atmosphere grabs you first and then the elegant food, all adding up to a unique dining experience.

Manager Ramone Saldivar was on hand to welcome us and to fill us in on the restaurant's history. Owned by Saverio Posarelli from Florence, it's been in this location for about fifteen years, and every five or so, it's renovated. All I can say is the aura of old Italy is there at Padri's. One can practically smell it, as you walk through the front door. I should mention that in the courtyard are hanging some lovely autumn/Halloween decorations and so I assume with Christmas right around the corner, Padri's will look fetching with sparkling trees and lights. I'll just have to return in December. And that I will do in a heartbeat based on the dinner and friendly service that accompanied this first visit on October 23.

Good to state right up front that even though Padri's is Italian cuisine, they are not limited. Their expansive dinner menu includes steak, chicken, lobster and other delightful seafood. Let's start at the top. There's a superb wine list and as Padri's is known for their fine array of martinis, that's a must for the martini lover.

Lending authenticity, the menu is in Italian with appetizers including Salumi, Formaggi, Assaggini and Affettati, a combination of the first three. More to Share includes calamari fritti, crab cakes, pancetta wrapped jumbo shrimp and bruschetta. The calamari are sweet and delicious, as are the crab cakes and jumbo shrimp stuffed with gorgonzola. The Insalata course includes a variety of salads, my choice being Insalata Cesare. There is also Zuppa which includes minestrone and soup of the day. Since I am a steak lover, as many of you have read in my past reviews, I ordered the Tagliata di Manzo or grilled Angus New York steak with balsamic reduction sauce, mushrooms and on the side, potato gratin. It was served to me sizzling hot on a board and was delectable, tender and juicy. I like it cooked medium, and it was done to perfection. The potatoes were a lovely golden brown and seasoned just right. My friend ordered Linguini con Frutti di Mare with a mix of seafood in a garlic, tomato white wine sauce. He raved and raved. My entree did not include a pasta, but when I mentioned the special of the day, a homemade lasagne with roasted pumpkin and soffritto ragu, my gracious server suggested they bring me a tiny portion to sample. It turned out to be a scrumptious side that I just could not finish, so I took it home with me.

There's always room for dessert chez Grigware, so from a list of Dolce, sweets, that includes Spiked Bread Pudding, Chocolate Torte, Tiramisu, Apple Tart, Creme Brulee and Banana Cream Pie, I chose the special Pumpkin Creme Brulee and my friend the Banana Cream Pie, which is pictured below. Artfully presented, and, by the way, the creme brulee was lovely, not screaming pumpkin but with an essence of the spice.

with manager Ramone Saldivar
To say that I enjoyed my meal is an understatement. Padri's is a lovely place to dine with a lot of ambiance, delectable food, great service and...the meals are reasonably priced. Most entrees are under $25, and the steak $28, with a filet mignon slightly higher at $32. In comparison to other high-class restaurants, this is a steal. And there is also a banquet room for your private parties, as well as a beautifully sunlit patio for your enjoyment. When you eat at Padri's, expect to eat with style in an atmosphere of sheer elegance.