Holland Village is along the way home from work so it makes for a nice pitstop when we work late nights. Which is almost always the case in recent days.
One late-night dinner option is Da Paolo as it opens till 10.30pm. It was a natural choice when we were craving some Italian comfort food last Wednesday. Da Paolo does classic Italian cuisine that's fairly authentic and we like it here. The food's generally good, with little to complain about, and it's intimate and elegant. The dimly lit restaurant is completely open-aired, but powerful
air-conditioning in the "indoors" area makes it a lot more chilly than you'd expect. I was so missing my shawl when we got a table "indoors". Also, because seating is limited, it's best to make reservations during peak dining periods.
Another thing about this famed restaurant is the nightmarish parking issues around Chip Bee Gardens, so I suppose it's a good thing that we dine at really odd hours. Otherwise, we're usually deterred by the lack of available parking lots.
The Carpaccio di Manzo ($24), a thin blanket of chilled beef tenderloin laid upon a bed of bitter rocket and ribbons of salty pungent parmesan cheese was served a tad too cold, like it had just been taken straight out from the freezer and onto our table. It was so cold I couldn't quite make out the flavour of the beef. I would have preferred this tepid instead. Further, a more liberal drizzling of olive oil would have helped this very average appetizer along.
The Tagliatelle al Granchio ($28), pasta ribbons laced with sweet crabmeat in a vodka-infused tomato and cream pink sauce was quite delicious. I've noticed that this style of pasta isn't very common on our menus so I always make it a point to order it whenever I spy it on a menu. This didn't disappoint. It was rich, creamy, robust and balanced the sweet and savoury beautifully.
The Risotto di Spinaci e Aragosta ($28) utilised carnaroli rice which was ingrained with a rich lobster bisque that managed a delightfully light flavour. Baby spinach and meaty chunks of slipper lobster provided texture and dimension.
The complimentary bread basket was served up really quickly upon our arrival, and thankfully so. We were famished and lapped these warm fluffy goodies up.
Update 22 June 2013: Da Paolo Ristorante has closed. You can visit its next-door pizza bar for a casual bite, or Club Street outlet for its fine dining ristorante branch.
Da Paolo Ristorante
44 Jalan Merah Saga
Open daily from 11.30am to 2.30pm for lunch; and 6.30am to 10.30pm for dinner