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Fearless Critic restaurant review
San Antonio
Casual restaurant

Daily 11:00am–11:00pm

Features Date-friendly, good wines, Wi-Fi
Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted


Uptown Central
555 E. Basse Rd.
San Antonio, TX
(210) 828-5191
A meeting ground for movers and shakers with food that knows not to intrude

It has been forty years since Paesanos appeared with its attitude, its now-iconic “Gamberi Paesano,” and its menu melding old-school Italian-American eats with upscale variations on a red-carpet theme. Over the years, owner Joe Cosniac’s empire has expanded, and though the 1604 location (reviewed separately) might appear fresher, the Basse Road outpost seems more the repository of the brand. It’s an important-looking space, all dark with the shades of Tuscany in autumn, there’s a businessy buzz—especially at lunch—and a decent gin martini can be had by insisting. Dean Martin would have loved it.

We like some of the food, too, though we haven’t ordered said shrimp in years. The bread that may even beat you to table is likely the best in town. A special house salad may be nothing more than romaine, but it’s served with the creamy vinaigrette that Joe made us come to consider a birthright. Your vegetable side needs flavor boosting? Olive oil bread dip to the rescue. Auto-pasta sides? Less toothy than al dente, the red sauce nothing Nonna would claim, but serviceable. Meltingly tender lamb osso bucco, on the other hand, its sauce a true scion of Bologna, would make any Italian granny proud.

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