Paolo's - San Jose
Paolo's - San Jose

Paolo's - San Jose

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.paolos.com/
  • Phone: 408-294-2558x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday through Friday: 11:00am - 2:30pm
    Dinner: Monday - 5:00pm - 8:30pm
    Dinner: Tuesday through Saturday - 5:00pm - 9:00pm
    Happy Hour in Paolo's Bar: Monday through Friday -4:30pm - 7:30pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Bar / Lounge / Bottle Service, Italian, Comfort Food
  • Executive Chef: Carolyn Allen-Samavarchian
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Smoking Area, Smoking Area (patio only), Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Catering: Paolo's offers off-site catering to its clients with custom menus suited to your specific social or business entertaining needs.
  • Special Events: Paolo's has several private rooms suited for social gatherings and corporate events - from birthdays and rehearsal dinners to company entertaining and business presentations. Paolo's private dining rooms are also the ideal setting for intimate wedding receptions. Contact info@paolos.com for more information about Paolo's private rooms and special events menus and services.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Woz Way
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: Paolo's validates parking for all its patrons in the (on-site) River Park garage at the corner of West San Carlos Street & Woz Way.
A word from Paolo's - San Jose
Certainly, other fine San Jose restaurants have opened in recent years, but none have defined that great Italian dinner for generation after generation as well as the one launched by Giacchino Paolo Aiello, better known as Jack Allen, and his wife, Geraldine. Only a scant few have that indefinable quality the Italians call il cuore - heart - exemplified by Paolo’s.
Since 1958 Paolo’s has remained a favorite of Silicon Valley locals and visitors alike. Second-generation Carolyn (Aiello) Allen, maintains her family’s commitment to their Italian heritage through the unique art and traditions of regional Italian inspired cuisine.
Maitre d’/Sommelier, Jalil Samavarchian, maintains a spectacular wine list and directs a knowledgeable and professional staff in this dramatic setting overlooking beautiful Guadalupe River Park. Their commitment to excellence and warm and inviting hospitality makes Paolo’s style as fashionable and contemporary today as it was fifty-five years ago.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerItalian
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked 1000-Point Tables
Paolo's - San Jose reviews from OpenTable diners
67 reviews since May 2, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.2
    Service4.3
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelModerate
88% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (45)romantic (28)notable wine list (26)fit for foodies (25)good for groups (18)neighborhood gem (12)scenic view (10)great for lunch (6)great for brunch (3)late-night find (3)vibrant bar scene (3)hot spot (2)great for outdoor dining (1)Show More
  • needed to be better
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    I have only heard great things about Paolo's so I was very excited. I thought the pasta was excellent and the soup was ok. However, the fillet had absolutely no taste, no seasoning and the salad over dressed. I was disappointed. The only thing I could think of was maybe it was not from the regular menu but the Wicked special. But for $39.00 a person it needed to be better.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Catering to the small appetite
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    I liked the fact that pasta is offered in half-portions for the small appetite, and, at a reasonable price. It would be great if other entrees were offered in smaller portions, as well.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ease in Dining out
    HancolmVIP
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    Dining out should be easy yet so many restaurants make you wait for your reservation. Paolo's validates your parking, does not rush you, is considerate or your needs, pleases you the way that top restaurants in the country service you with better portions and prices than those places. Our waitress, Flower, was not only charming, considerate and engaging but the best server in San Jose restaurants we have experienced.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Very Poor Service
    JG11
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    We were very disappointed with the service, we had to go and get our waitress a couple of times. She was having her dinner and speaking on her phone. Our dishes were not picked up for a very long time after we had finished. The restaurant boosts of great service. We absolutely did not see it!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Fine place to eat and drink
    Foodie
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    You must begin in the bar with Jack as the bartender. He has a great sense of humor and makes a great drink. The dinner was very good and our waiter Estes did a great job.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Nice and quiet for special occasion
    tq525VIP
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    We celebrated my birthday there on a Tuesday night. The restaurant is quiet with just a few tables. We got a nice quiet corner all for ourselves. The restaurant is really nice with very attentive staff. Parking is right underneath and validated, good for downtown. The dishes are excellent (California halibut and "badly cut" pasta with shredded roast chicken and 4-5 kinds of mushrooms. Definitely recommended!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Overlooked
    HancolmVIP
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Paolo's location is a bit hidden, behind the San Jose Center for Performing Arts. Although isolated next to Guadalupe River at the bottom of an office building holding 800 employees, the walking traffic does not keep it as busy as a restaurant of this caliber should be. Take advantage while you can get a table, I keep expecting that their excellent clam chowder, the great portions of their salads and the Entree's will attract more foodies that love a balanced well portioned plate of Fish the Day, Saltimboca, Pasta. Service here is always dependable, attentive and friendly.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Poor Experience
    mimi65
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    The salad arrived with the Champagne... not a good combination... Hardly finished the salad and the main dish arrived. Salmon was o.k., the veal Saltimboca was so hard, I could hardly cut it with a knife; no Parma ham and cheese inside the veal roll (Not even sure it was veal) as stated on the menu. It tasted like it was frozen and warmed up - no taste... My husband's red wine arrived as he was finishing his dinner. No atmosphere, no music... and we were celebrating a wedding anniversary! We were at Paolo many years ago, and it was full, the food and service were outstanding and needless to say we were very disappointed.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • A great Anniversary Spot
    hcc27
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    My husband and I celebrated our anniversary here, and the staff, food, and ambiance were perfect for celebrating such a fun occasion. We enjoyed our dinner!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Pleased
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    Eating at Paolo's was a great experience. The food was amazing. I had Pasta while my fiance had the Fish of the day. We both are not much wine fans however their wine list comprised of many different bottles.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Fine evening
    jam1
    Dined on 7/28/2014
    Excellent food and ambience for a quiet evening meal on a Monday
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fancy without being stuffy
    amwgolfVIP
    Dined on 7/23/2014
    This is attached to an office building, so when we came out of the parking lot, we totally missed the restaurant entrance. We called and were immediately rescued. We enjoyed every part of our dinner. The appetizer selection is varied, as are the main course options. Three of us all made different choices - pasta, osso buco and pork chop for the main course - all were terrific. Our server was attentive and extremely pleasant, even offering a late taste of a cab that finished off our dining experience. Will definitely go again. It really is a hidden gem.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Paolos Best Italian Food in SJ
    GFOODVIP
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    We loved Paolo's Fine Italian Food Dinner. It's fine dining in SJ, and there isn't that much great food in SJ. Paolo's is located next to the SJ Center for the Performing Arts, so what better place to dine after the show. And Paolo's sets their schedule to accommodate the fans. Really everything was prepared to perfection. The shrimp appetizer is great, but maybe they should add a couple more large shrimp. The salads are terrific. The home made paste with red meat sauce is perfect. And of course the osso buco and sea bass are perfectly prepared. Overall, this has been a great restaurant and continues to impress.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great place
    jontiviVIP
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    There's a great waiter called Sean there. The food is excellent. It gets a bit busy before a show next door so I would go after it starts on show nights.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • authenticity
    yumiVIP
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    dined with customers from italy for thought cena[the dinner meal] shall be sufficient like the 2 times gone before. unfortunately, we did not enjoy very much. just another place in u.s.a. trying to cook italiano food. first off, there were 4 of us. 1 of the 2 appetizers we had ordered seemed it was a 5$usd cuts/cheese plate. so little. the pastas were overcooked. a dish ordered was a pasta with zafferelle that by which had lack of zafferelle. rather, tasted like a typical chicken pasta for those who have never left u.s.a. another had marinara sauce that seemed to come out of a discount grocery store bottle. the ossobucco tasted as though a 5 year old playing with his food play do. perhaps, there is a new chef and/or kitchen helpers.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A good restaurant
    meee
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    The food is good, and the service was excellent. It is so convenient to the theater and parking is easy.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent Pasta Dishes
    JohnVIP
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    The menu has a lot of options and the pasta dishes we had were perfectly prepared with the right balance of flavors. The restaurant is quite large and the bar area looks like a great place to enjoy as well. We'll definitely be back.
    Special Features:
    scenic view, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Perfect before a show at CPA
    Mardi
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    This is a great spot for dinner before a show. Validated parking, a quick walk to the theatre, excellent service and good food! Perfect and convenient!
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Enjoyable
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    I have never been disappointed dining at Paolo's. On this particular night we were attending a show at the San Jose Performing Arts Center and we never felt rushed to get to the show on time. The food was prepared so well and the service was timely and attentive to any need we had. I would also recommend that if you should arrive early for dinner you should have a cocktail in the bar and enjoy the friendly banter and great jokes told by the bar staff as it will put you in a great mood if you are not already there.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • convenient location
    besteatR
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    Since my daughter and I were attending Broadway San Jose, we chose Paolo's for the convenience of the garage and proximity to the performance venue. However, we both felt that our fish was overcooked and the wine tasted vinegary on that particular night. The entire meal seemed a bit pricey as well. On previous visits to this restaurant the food has been well cooked. The service is dependably good.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2002VIP
    Dined on 7/15/2014
    Came with a larger group and we all had a great time. Food and service was wonderful!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • good place for a date
    rulzd5nd
    Dined on 6/30/2014
    me and my girlfriend went on a date on Monday @7 and there was no one in the restaurant. we had the whole place to ourselves. they placed nice romantic music and food was great. they have tons of wine from different places
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, scenic view, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very nice dinner
    charm41
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    We took advantage of the Dining Downtown promotion and enjoyed an excellent three course meal last Friday evening. The service was excellent and our dinners were well-prepared and presented. We will definitely return.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great Experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 6/11/2014
    My wife and I are always looking for great Italian places, and Paolo's is now on our list of best Italian places in San Jose. The food and the service were both excellent. The decor is very nice and clean, with a nice courtyard view of the Guadalupe Creek, but it felt more like a place for a great business dinner, or a large party, rather than a nice romantic dinner for two, but this did not detract from the experience. I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a great Italian meal.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 6/9/2014
    Went here for drinks. Bartender was especially attentive to our needs. Very nice restaurant.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Gratuity at 20% even for 4 members
    dinertest
    Dined on 6/5/2014
    Recently visited the place. Surprised to see gratuity at 20% flat for just 4 members. Is that normal?
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Worst service ever!
    Mollybee
    Dined on 5/29/2014
    We made a reservation before we went to the theater. We heard it was super convenient but we were sorely disappointed. It must've been our server's 1st night. She brought us champagne glasses for pinot grigio, they brought us our meals before our salads, she brought us our dessert while we were already eating our dessert. Even more disappointing was that I asked to speak with the manager and he came by but didn't introduce himself and did not address the poor service. Once we realized that he was the manager, my husband tried to be nice and say "it seems a little disjointed tonight" and he responded "no, it is going ok." We definitely won't be returning for the rest of our shows for the summer.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Memorable...
    2NCalifornians
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    We gave our son a grad luncheon at Paolo's. The food was fabulous, as always. The service impeccable - accommodating even our youngest guest. We requested a private area to celebrate and a referral for a bakery that delivered to their restaurant. We were not disappointed. Paolo's made our special event truly memorable and exceeded all our expectations.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • convenient to ballet
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    The food was good. The service was just off. It seemed like they were short. All worked out, they were gracious. The location was perfect to park once and go to an event next door.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great theater dining
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    Loved our experience, food was great, service was spectacular and the ballet prim fixe meal was great. However we were seated in full view of the kitchen door even though there were many many open tables available and we made a reservation early on.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, scenic view, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Theater best
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    Wonderful food and service. Our waiter flower was exceptional.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Venue and elegant style
    SteveMVIP
    Dined on 5/7/2014
    Excellent Venue for food and Elegant style and customer courtesy and home friendly relax decoration complimentary parking
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 35 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 2, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.3
    • Food4.3
    • Ambiance4.3
    • Service4.4
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 497 reviews are from the Paolo's - San Jose reviews archive.
  • San Jose Favorite
    SanJoseDiner
    Dined on 4/30/2014
    After all these years, finally tried Paolo's. Was pleased overall. No issues. Food was prepared well, tasty and priced as expected. We Really enjoyed the Calamari appetizer. It was so fresh and tasty with a lovely garlic seasoning. The veggies served with the steak were a bit heavy on the to, It smells of ornanges, I don't recall the name. Will be happy to come back another time and try other things.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Late-Night Find, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Another delightful experience!
    brobon
    Dined on 4/28/2014
    The restaurant was not crowded, probably due to it being a Monday and the fact that nothing was going on at the CPA. We were greeted immediately, seated immediately, and enjoyed a wonderful meal. Two of us had the halibut special, which was exquisite, and one had the veal shanks, which was reportedly also fabulous. And they split a salad for us, vs. giving us the salad and an extra plate. Very gracious service throughout, without feeling rushed. The wine selection by the glass was very comprehensive; I enjoyed the chianti. They asked when we arrived if we had a time limit, which we did, but we never felt rushed. Will definitely go back!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Romantic, special occasion, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great for conversation
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    Great place to talk without being surrounded by annoying noise. Wonderful for romantic dinner. The food was good, but neither outstanding nor innovative.
    Special Features:
    Romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Paolo's is outstanding!
    luvDavisStreetVIP
    Dined on 4/21/2014
    If you want a fabulous dining experience, look no further than Paolo's. Whether you're longing for a quiet, romantic spot for two or a great place to impress clients, or simply wanting to enjoy the best Italian food with world-class service, you've got to go to Paolo's. My favorites: the fresh halibut, amazing osso bucco, and linguine and clams. Yummy!!!!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Romantic, special occasion, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great date night!
    jimcottrill
    Dined on 4/11/2014
    My wife and I were looking for a nice, quiet, romantic place for our first date night since our 5-month old was born, and Paolo's fit the bill perfectly. The service was attentive but not intrusive, and the restaurant was quiet with a very nice ambiance. The wine list was extensive and featured very good wines at every price range (we settled on a bottle of Renwood's Fiddletown Zinfandel for $40 and were very pleased with it). The food was delicious -- I had the veal saltimbocca and my wife had the orrecchiette pasta dish, and both were very, very tasty (esp. the orrecchiette!). The desserts were fantastic as well -- the bombolino (a lemon-creme filled donut), and the coconut/macadamia/orange panna cotta were both delicious and original.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding Overall
    dainaroxsox
    Dined on 4/5/2014
    From the moment we walked in we felt welcome and got an extremely comfortable booth. Then the food was on point, a handmade pasta with a braised lamb. Talk about spoiling yourself! Yum! The prices were extremely fair for the quality of food. It's a definite must go!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Woefully underwhelming
    HungryDinerVIP
    Dined on 4/4/2014
    I'm honestly confused as to why this place is rated so highly, and who exactly are the patrons that find the food here pleasing. I included a comment that it was for a birthday meal and while we received a warm welcome (they thought we were for a party in the adjacent bar area, we were not - no harm done) and attentive, very polite service, the food itself was just bad. There was not even a birthday wish or any acknowledgement but our waiter did note that it was our first time there, so he must have seen that on the reservation. I'm a stickler for attention to detail, so that was disappointing. All in all, the service was great but the temperature, flavor, and portions of food were just not good. The only saving grace was the warm donut.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The meal and service were
    GreggersVIP
    Dined on 3/28/2014
    The meal and service were both superb! Very attentive and accommodating staff.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.