[Review] Paradiso Roma Ristorante

If you follow me over at The Southern Belle Blogs, then you’re aware that I recently gave birth to a baby boy this past December. Lil Bean (as I affectionately like to refer to him) doesn’t make going out to eat easy but when he’s in a good mood, we try to take advantage of that.

Robb and I went to Paradiso Roma Ristorante for dinner because we had something to celebrate – an ENGAGEMENT. Our engagement to be precise. Even though we had been to Paradiso before, this time felt a little bit more special. I was a little nervous bringing Lil Bean only because I didn’t think Paradiso had booths meaning that one of us would have to hold him the entire time. He ended up being quite jovial during our meal and even had a dab of his first real food (an itty bitty amount of chocolate syrup).

We started the meal with some complimentary bread sticks and paired it with Paradiso’s red sauce (which is like a marinara basically). We each had a salad that was wonderfully fresh tasting.

For our entrees, I went with the shrimp and grits [grilled shrimp served on top of polenta with a homemade shrimp and grits sauce] while Robb went with the custom pasta option [homemade fettuccine with a red sauce and ‘Mama’s Meatballs]. While my shrimp and grits were delicious and perfectly spiced, I had a serious case of food envy once I tasted Robb’s dish – and that never happens (usually it’s the other way around)! Thankfully the portion sizes were large enough that we could share our dishes and still end up stuffed.

Usually the pasta dishes are tossed in a cheese bowl but on that particular night, the restaurant ended up being busier than expected and they were unable to bring out the bowl as they were running low. Bummer but completely understandable. They did make sure to add extra cheese to all pasta dishes to compensate for that.

For dessert, I ordered the chocolate dessert ravioli – it was DELICIOUS. Robb wasn’t that big of a fan, but he’s not a big dessert person anyway. His loss.

What I like about Paradiso is their dedication to making everything from scratch – from the pasta to the breadsticks. It really shows how much care and dedication the owners have to their restaurant. Paradiso is also in a wonderful location – overlooking the water. It’s the perfect place to bring a date or just a group of family and friends to hang out. The food is delicious and the service is wonderful.

My biggest piece of advice? Go with the pasta. You can’t go wrong.

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Paradiso Roma Ristorante
35 Camden Causeway
Elizabeth City, NC 27909
Sunday – Monday: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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[Review] Strawberry Fields Cafe

I’m so proud of myself. I actually visited a new restaurant in town within days of it opening. Usually months go by of me wishing that I had tried a place before I actually make it there. But Strawberry Fields Cafe opened on a Monday and the next day, I was there for lunch.

Now to be fair, I was still out on maternity leave (it was my last day) so it made it easy to swing by this lunchtime establishment for a little quiet time.

Strawberry Fields Cafe replaced another restaurant that I enjoyed eating at but to be honest, I don’t miss that other place at all now! I think I have found myself a delicious new lunchtime destination. It’s located just far enough away that it will take up my whole lunch break getting there but close enough that I can call in my order and get back to work on time.

I ordered the French Dip [tender roast beef drenched in au-jus and dressed with melted provolone cheese on sub roll and served with side of au-jus for dipping], fried potato chips with ranch, and oriental pasta salad [rotini pasta dressed in roasted sesame seeds and soy sauce with a hint of sugar and complimented with chopped scallions and chopped spinach]. The french dip sandwich was delicious. I could have ate another one easily. In fact, I’m thinking of stopping by to get another one this week. The au-jus was seasoned very well.

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I loved the oriental pasta salad. It’s not something that I had seen before on a menu and I actually think I might try recreating it at home (maybe with some peanuts and bean sprouts tossed in). I’ve never been a big fan of sesame items but since we’ve started using tahini and sesame oil, I’ve come to enjoy the taste.

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Strawberry Fields Cafe also serves a Cream of Crab Soup and a Hawaiian Teriyaki Grilled Chicken that seem to be quite popular as well. I can’t wait to try that (and one of their brownies) as well.

The servers were incredibly nice and for a place that just opened, they really seemed to have their act together. Sometimes with a new restaurant, you have to go a few times to really get a feel for it. I’ve known quite a few places that have needed to get the kinks worked out and it really is all about first impressions.

I hope that they do well and I can’t wait to go again.

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Strawberry Fields Cafe
407 McArthur Drive
Elizabeth City, NC 27909
Monday – Saturday: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.