Paradiso Italian Restaurant is Nailsea’s very own little piece of Italy; this cheery gem has been at the heart of the community for quite a few years now catering for all the important occasions, birthdays, anniversaries, and cosy Valentine’s nights, as well as perhaps tempting tired shoppers to take a break for a light lunch. On our visit the restaurant was full; a sea of happily occupied tables radiated friendliness and warmth and we tucked ourselves into a comfortable corner table, glad that we had booked.
The first good thing about Paradiso is that it carries Angelo Poretti lager on draught, in my opinion one of the best Italian lagers, so I made an excellent start with a glass of that whilst we looked through the menu. There are many types of pasta dishes, a range of pizzas, fish, and meats, all fresh and healthily prepared the Mediterranean way. We were minded to share a pizza to start, and chose Etna, living up to its name by being topped with cheese, tomato, pepperoni, chilli, and garlic.
Deciding on a main course proved very difficult as there were so many dishes we liked on the menu; would it be the delicious and delicate sounding risotto with scallops, mixed seafood and fish stock in white wine and parsley and saffron sauce, or fiery and flavourful, penne arrabiata with ham, onion, chilli, and Bolognese sauce, or maybe even, fillet steak with pizzaiola sauce? The possibilities were endless and finally we both chose old favourites that we can’t resist, spaghetti Bolognese and scampi fritti served with chips and salad.
Our pizza starter arrived, neatly cut to share with the cheese topping still bubbling and generously scattered with pepperoni – it didn’t take any prisoners especially when you hit the tiny pieces of fresh green chilli pepper. It was great and a marvellous way to warm up on a cold winter’s evening. The wine list has good wines by the glass, something I like to see, and mopping our brows we ordered a glass of Chilean Sauvignon Blanc and a glass of Merlot to keep us company with the main courses.
I loved my spaghetti Bolognese, beautifully presented as a coiled tower of spaghetti teetering under its thick coat of meaty and robust sauce; luckily I’m an expert with a fork and spoon so demolishing it was no problem. The scampi fritti proved excellent too, succulent pieces of langoustine lightly breadcrumbed and fried; from the other side of the table not a morsel was left.
Even though the restaurant was very busy, service was friendly and efficient, the quality of the dishes top notch, and the bill reasonable; apparently Paradiso has loyal customers that travel in from Bristol and we can see why!
110 High St, Nailsea, Bristol BS48 1AH