Acqua pazza Ristorante, San Mateo
Posted by Foodnut.com
Acqua pazza Ristorante is an Italian restaurant run by 3 brothers from Naples. Chef Valerio Rosano cooked classic dishes from this homeland. Acquapazza is located in downtown San Mateo in a location that has seen many different name changes. Hopefully this restaurant will last a lot longer. We have been back several times with our last visit in the middle of 2012. They opened a sister restaurant in San Carlos called Locanda Positano.
Decor, Vibe – Acqua pazza Ristorante has a small patio up front, clean interior with lots of big paintings. The lunch crowd was mostly nearby San Mateo office workers. The dinner crowd was dressed up for a nice dinner out. Second floor has balcony seating.
Acqua pazza Menu Pictures
Their home made bread, Focaccia and Olive oil dipping are very good.
Pollo Al Marsala Organic Chicken Breast with Wild Mushrooms and Marsala Sauce and soft Polenta ($16.95) was an excellent dish with 2 good sized slices of chicken covered with a light sauce, sun dried tomatoes, and a jiggly pudding like polenta.
Pizza Salsiccia e Funghi Sausage and Mushrooms ($13.95) came with delicious home made sausage on top of a decent but not crispy crust. Very good cheese topped this solid pizza that had a soft center.
Spinach Linguine Pomodoro ($15) was a fresh pasta recommended by our server. A good recommendation with al dente pasta and a simple tomato based sauce.
Pasta Speciale ($16.95) Pappardelle with rabbit had home made egg noodles with a flavorful rabbit sauce. There were little bones still left in the sauce. This looks like their strong area. This pasta is the only one made from fresh pasta and not dried.
Zuppa Speciale Cannellini bean Soup ($6) was a huge bowl and came piping hot. Full of tender beans, kale, mussels, and topped with Parmesan. This soup was excellent.
Calamarata AcquaPazza ($15.95) Ring-shaped Pasta, Prawns, Manila Clams, Mediterranean Mussels, Calamari, Baby Octopus, Fresh Fish of the Day, Light Tomato Sauce was a very good dish. The al dente pasta was from dried pasta, but still The seafood was all fresh and cooked perfectly.
Risotto Alla Pescatore ($15.95) Italian Arborio Rice, Prawns, Manila Clams,
Mediterranean Mussels, Calamari, Baby Octopus, Fresh Fish of the Day, Light Tomato Sauce was excellent. The rice was not too salty or too heavy, it was in perfect balance with restrained flavor. The seafood was all fresh and cooked perfectly. On another visit we had the Risotto Zafferano ($20) with petite prawns. This was an excellent Risotto, although they could have been a little more liberal with the prawns.
Capellini Al Pomodoro ($11.95) Angel Hair pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce & Basil, made in a traditional recipe had lots of fresh tomatoes and some tender egg pasta cooked just right.
Zuppa Speciale ($6) was a bean soup from a chicken base, with vegetables. Decent soup flavor and veggies. Beans were a little stiff.
Casear Salad ($6.95) was a pretty standard issue decent salad of fair quantity.
Pizza AcquaPazza ($13) Proscuitto di Parma with arugula, fresh buffalo mozzarella and tomato sauce was very soggy in the middle. The prosciutto pieces were large and tossed on. We had a similar pizza a couple days earlier at Pizza Nostra which was an order of magnitude better.
Gnocchi Mamma Carmela’s ($14.95) Famous Potato Dumplings, with Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella Cheese, Fresh Basil is made in house and sounded promising. The reality was a chewy, crude and clearly homemade pasta in a salty sauce. Ravioli special is the other home made pasta. Bottega in Yountville has a stellar gnocchi.
Acqua pazza Ristorante had decent service and even comp’d us a Tiramisu for dessert one time. On other visits the service has fair, but not outstanding or attentive. Clearly their pastas are their strong suit, so if you decide to come, concentrate on that area.
Acqua pazza is one of the better Italian restaurants in San Mateo battling it out with nearby long time stallwart Ristorante Capellini and very good Osteria Coppa. Donato Enoteca in Redwood City is the Peninsula’s best Italian restaurant, while a reference place in the city is excellent Perbacco. Acqua pazza has grown more popular and has live music on several nights. Glasses of wine from $6.50, Bottles from $26.
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