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While visually rich, Santana Row, San Jose, is a little over the top for me. Still, my family had a very nice meal at a famous pasta chain restaurant there, recently, and thoroughly enjoyed our time.
The restaurant we were originally aiming to dine at had about 25 hopefuls outside alone, just waiting to get in, and the seating was expected to take nearly 2 hours. We decided to browse other queues for better forecasts.
After 2 or 3 table submissions, we settled at the relatively humble and very pleasant Pasta Pomodoro. The decor was nice, the furnishings modest and clean, and the atmosphere warm. Our host seated us near the open kitchen, where we enjoyed watching the cooks rustle frypans with hasty aplomb over a blazing grill fire from a comfortable distance.
I selected the Penne Portobello, a mildly rustic blend of pasta, mushrooms, and basil with bits of chicken and sausage. The dish was good, the portion light and the meats a bit scarce, if adequate. I counted the cost of the ingredients as netting a huge profit, but factored in the location and other overhead, and counted myself blessed for a good meal in great company at a reasonable price!
The fresh squeezed lemonade was an ample portion of the best restaurant version made in my memory by far! For a rare dessert, I quite enjoyed a well made chocolate soufflé, “dolce cioccolato”, a fluffy but substantive blend of “cake” filled with thick, semi-sweet liquid chocolate, and dressed with a dollop of good, lightly sweetened, real, fresh whipped cream; a drizzle of chocolate sauce, a dusting of powdered sugar, and a fresh mint leaf. I should caution the baker, however, he or she seems heavy handed on salt! A little bit on mine, and excessively on a bread pudding I sampled.
Our server was both kind and professional, and that made the time even better. When the staff came out to sing happy birthday to our table neighbors, the girl who made the announcement spoke at the top of her lungs. She was not obnoxious, and would do well to use her voice to help earn her keep.
Our family rounded out the evening by walking the row in the cool night breeze and window shopping. A nice end to a near-perfect meal.