Ristorante Pappagallo

It’s not often that you’re welcomed into a restaurant by a parrot. But you might ruffle a few feathers if you don’t acknowledge Humphrey Bogart as a sort of flying maitre’d’. Bogey’ has been Ristorante Pappagallo’s mascot for 20 years and is a seasoned member of the team. He also has quite a few pals in an aviary in front of the windows in the private dining room.

Although it’s relatively out of the way, Pappagallo is known as a dining destination and will likely be busy every night of the week. (To find it, follow the signs when you reach the four-way stop as you reach the district of West Bay, opposite Foster’s supermarket.) Even after two decades, it holds the crowds for its delectable Italian cuisine, impeccable service and fairytale-like ambiance.

Set on a lake, the restaurant has a tall ceiling made from silver thatch palm, with big fans whirring overhead as you dine. Most of the staff is Italian, while the portions are huge and wholesome. The bread is scrumptious and you can’t help but mop up the vinaigrette on the arugula salad or devour the ceviche snapper special for starters. It’s hard to know whether to choose from the pasta section, seafood or ‘land’ favorites for the entrée.

The tiger shrimp is marinated with chipotle, mustard and lemon, grilled in the shell and served with a black rice and sweet potato cake and a green onion-cilantro sauce. The chicken scallopine is thinly-pounded chicken sautéed with pink peppercorns in a gorgonzola cream sauce, served with battered linguine.

The desserts are divine’try the crème brulee or the tiramisu.

Pappagallo is also known for its extensive wine list with over 400 from around the world at the last count.

  • Ask for a table in the screened-in porch so you can watch the birds on the lake
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