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

Paolo's - San Jose

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.paolos.com/
  • Phone: (408) 294-2558
  • 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 WinnerNotable Wine List
  • Diners' Choice WinnerSpecial Occasion
  • Diners' Choice WinnerItalian
Paolo's - San Jose reviews from OpenTable diners
73 reviews since July 27, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4.1
    Service4.3
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelModerate
77% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (48)fit for foodies (34)notable wine list (31)romantic (29)good for groups (27)great for lunch (13)neighborhood gem (12)late-night find (6)scenic view (6)vibrant bar scene (4)great for outdoor dining (4)hot spot (3)kid-friendly (3)great for brunch (2)Show More
  • A great find in downtown SJ
    JohnVIP
    Dined on 11/20/2014
    The food is very good with very attentive staff and friendly service. The pasta dishes are excellent with a variety of traditional options. The restaurant is somewhat off the beaten path but is worth it.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, notable wine list, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 11/20/2014
    Took an hour to have dinner served. The food was improperly prepared. The mashed potatoes was like soup. The meat under-cooked. Will never return to this restaurant.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not the best service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    we had to ask for everything at least twice...we had reservations prior to a show at the CPA. others had the same, it seems, and they should have known to have more staff available on hand to support...there seemed to be only one waitress for our whole section (pretty large room) and she couldn't get to everyone on time...there were others walking around and doing other stuff, it seemed, but we had to ask for bread three times to get it...food was just ok, not great! Overall, convenient if going to a show at CPA, but would not go there for any other reason.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • EXCELLENT IN EVERY WAY
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    PAOLO'S CONTINUES TO BE THE FINEST RESTAURANT IN SILICON VALLEY.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, kid-friendly, late-night find, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2002VIP
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    always a pleasure,always a pleasure, always a pleasure
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, late-night find, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Menu was limited, calamari was like rubber, soup was way to creamy as was the pasta. The waiter tried his best to find something for my daughter. He was the bright spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The best
    DadGolferCook
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    For our world service, Sophisticated dinning. This is the only place to go in San Jose!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wednesday Night
    Duran408
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    I took my girlfriend here for a dinner date + reserved the 1,000 point table. The waiter was very friendly and attentive. We both ate a pasta dishes and desert after. Everything we ate was good and we'll be back soon!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Romantic setting
    wineman54
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    Very nice date restaurant. Food and service is good and the setting around the restaurant is nice.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pre Concert
    KKCKs
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    WE had a dinner there before seeing Elton John and enjoyed it a great deal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Best of class
    DadGolferCook
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    Paolo's is a San Jose gem in an area dominated by chains and non-discript restaurants. Great for special occasions.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always classic, good food
    Foodie
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    Paolo's is the most elegant restauarnt in San Jose. The food is always good and it's one of the few places you can hear a conversation with four people. Service is very good.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A Venerable Stalwart
    LJB1
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    . . . of a restaurant. Wonderful traditional Italian cuisine, excellent preparation. Classic service and friendly and engaging proprietors. Search Paolo's out and enjoy your experience. And might I highly recommend Ossobuco di vitello from the dinner menu.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • DDAdventuresVIP
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    Paolo's was a great restaurant before seeing a play or concert at San Jose's Performing Arts Center. After dinner, we simply walked over the bridge and through the lovely gardens to the venue. The food was excellent. The atmosphere was quiet and elegant. There is a pre-fix menu before a show as well as a regular dinner menu. You can park in the garage above the restaurant and they provide parking validation too!
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • great place
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    staff was exceptionally helpful in dealing with children’s food allergies.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Always a great dining experience
    jontiviVIP
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    The Bass special was delicious and so was the pork chops. Sean, our waiter, is great as always. It's busy before a show but after 7:30 is a good time to go to avoid the crowd.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfect for dinner before Wicked
    vintagegirl628
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    I have never been to Paolo's before and was pleasantly surprised! We took part in the Theater three course meal & wine pairing and it was delicious! The wait staff was very friendly and attentive which just made the night even better. Will definitely dine at Paolo's again!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A wonderful dinner at Paolo's
    goodfood4me
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    A long time favorite that keeps on delivering! A nice change of pace to make an evening out seem that much more enjoyable.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Perfect Pre-Theater Dining
    Jackie
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    Our gaggle of gals went to Paolos on a Saturday night before the 8:00pm performance of Wicked at the San Jose Center for Performing Arts. What a delightful experience. The restaurant is located just a short foot-bridge walk across from the theater and offered convenient and free (validated) parking for the After being seated, we per used the menu and we all decided to have the special Wicked pre fixe meal with the wine pairing. This came with soup or salad, entree and dessert ($35. And $25.). We all had the perfectly dressed salad with a Sauvignon Blanc. I chose the Sea Bass which was perfectly cooked and came smoking hot to the table. The chicken and flank steak were also superb (Chardonnay & Pino). The cherry cheesecake was devine.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Back to excellence
    OpenTable Diner Since 2000VIP
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    Had a fantastic dinner; great food and service. It was a taste of Italy in San Jose.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great place to eat before a show!
    Diane
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    Close to Broadway San Jose and very convenient...parking is included. This time we passed on the pre fixe (which has always been great) and ordered off the menu. Excellent choice. the Polenta and egg appetizer is a keeper.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice, but not consistent
    DailyDiner
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    Service was very good, but the food had several issues. I ordered a special prix fix menu and it featured a strange collection of mustard/collard greens as a side dish along with shoestring potatoes that looked and tasted like something out of a can. I asked the waiter about it and he claimed that they were made in the restaurant and offered me some mashed potatoes if I would prefer - I declined his offer, but it was very sincere. The rest of the meal was very good - excellent salad, great filet, and cheesecake to die for! Wasn't pleased with wine service - $20 for one glass of sauterne? It was good, but not that good. Overall, wouldn't come back, too expensive and too inconsistent.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • post theatre dining
    simulcasterVIP
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    Always go after the theatre and always is good service and food.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Before the Theater
    Steve
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Great place to go before you go to the theater, food was great and very close to theater and staff will make sure you get to the play
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great pre theater choice
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Nice prix fixe meal pre theater... We were delayed getting to restaurant due to traffic... Waitress (Flower)was very cognizant we were going to the show and kept everything on track, but we never felt rushed. Food was very good. Nice evening.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • mediocre
    katstowers
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Food was mediocre for the price. The ambience was nice but I couldn't believe how much we were paying for food that wasn't all THAT great.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • wonderful dinner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Had a fabulous dinner before going to the show... Will be going back soon.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fabulous experience
    Stevo
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    Had dinner before seeing a show at San Jose Performing Arts, as we have in the past. We will definitely put this on our list of places to go for a great meal. Veal Saltimboca was the best I've ever had, including little Italy in NYC. Our waiter was great, and we felt like we were being served by a friend. Paolo's is convenient to parking and the theatre. Their parking validation covered the full fee for the evening.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • needed to be better
    InwR
    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
    smapptite14
    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.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 34 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 27, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.2
    • Food4.1
    • Ambiance4.2
    • Service4.1
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 518 reviews are from the Paolo's - San Jose reviews archive.
  • 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.