Ristorante Paoletti
Ristorante Paoletti

Ristorante Paoletti

  • Dining Style: Fine Dining
  • Website: http://www.paolettis.com/
  • Phone: 828-526-4906
  • Hours of Operation:
    Small Plates available from 4:00 PM. Every Evening
    Starting May 1st, 2013.
    Dinner Served from 5:00 PM till closing
    at the Bar and Dining Room
    Every Evening through November.

    Closed January 1st-February 13th
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Seafood, Italian
  • Executive Chef: Kevin Paoletti
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Next Door to Highlands Inn, Across Street from Old Edwards Inn
  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from Ristorante Paoletti
Please furnish us with an e-mail address upon making a reservation at Ristorante Paoletti so that we may confirm availability. Thank you! Celebrating 29 years in Highlands, North Carolina in 2013, we invite you to enjoy fantastic regional Italian dining in an elegant, old-world atmosphere. Serving the area's largest selection of fresh coastal Seafood & Local Rainbow Trout. An array of specialties is complimented by one of the deepest wine cellars in the Southeast. Infused Spirits, Craft Cocktails & a large selection of Wines-by-the-glass from Champagne to Barolo & Cabernet are available Nightly. Our menu's printed daily Specials reflect seasonal and locally grown ingredients. Full Dinner Menu available at the Bar. Located next door to Highlands Inn and the Old Edwards Inn on Main Street in Highlands.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNotable Wine List
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Ristorante Paoletti reviews from OpenTable diners
58 reviews since June 22, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.4
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelModerate
88% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (33)fit for foodies (32)notable wine list (32)romantic (26)neighborhood gem (22)hot spot (12)good for groups (9)vibrant bar scene (2)Show More
  • luv2dine
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    Outstanding!! Great menu variety. The seafood selections come with a variety of preparation options. Great wine selection. We make it a point to eat at Ristorante Paoletti's every time we are in the mountains of NC.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • One of our Best Dining Experiences
    Bliss
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    We have been fortunate to eat at some of the best restaurants in the world and I would include Paoletti as one of them. The food was creative, flavorful and nicely presented. The service was courteous, attentive and professional. The interior and its atmosphere is similar to a well established New York Italian restaurant. But the one person above all who made the entire dining experience absolutely enjoyable was the sommelier V.J. This man knows more about wine and food and its pairing than any person I have ever met. He graciously offered to match each dish (which he selected) with one of his favorite wines. Through this V.J. exposed us to fabulous wines that were unknown to us. When you go (and you must) be sure to ask for him.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always excellent
    lotsoffoodVIP
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Great dinner........................................................................
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Italian Style Food and Wines
    Dlee
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    1st time visiting this restaurant, only because we could not get an early reservation elsewhere. Sorry it took us 3 years to try. Wonderful. Lobster Ravioli was very delicate and not overloaded with sauce. Spinach and Veal stuffed Crepes also wonderful, with plenty left over for another meal. I do not recall what our men ate, but we were all pleased. Wine selections were easy as tasting was offered. No doubt we will return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Anniversary Dinner
    Tablenotready
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    Our 26th year of having dinner at Paoletti's around our anniversary. Food quality and service has slacked off slightly. Our server, Alex, was attentive and polite.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Overrated
    Foodie
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    My filet mignon was overcooked and tough there were 4 of us and none of the food was outstanding for the price. Carrabbas serves better food.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Highlands Golf Trip
    StevieB52
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    Paoletti's is a never miss stop for us on every trip to Highlands. The food, service, and ambiance are always superior. Julio greeted us at the door and seated us at a wonderful table. Servers appeared quickly with drinks and bread. The specials and the explanation of several dishes by our main server were very helpful. We had salmon in a lemon butter with garlic kale. Perfectly cooked and presented. Dessert was bread pudding and tiramisu, and both were excellent. What a great night of fantastic dining.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • BEST IN THE HIGHLANDS
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    We had a wonderful time at Paoletti's. Food and service were excellent. Paoletti's is the reason we visit the Highlands several times each year. Go, you will enjoy it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best Italian in Highlands
    FLFoodies
    Dined on 9/1/2014
    This Italian Restaurant is tried and true. The food and service is outstanding. We enjoy dining at Ristorante Paoletti when we are in Highlands and look forward to going back on our next visit.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great restaurant
    Douglascen
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Everything was perfect. Great food, great service. Provided fabulous wine selections for our group. If you are in Highlands, this place is a must!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great as always.
    Senwho
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    We've eaten here several times . Other than the fabulous food the great thing about this restaurant is they kill you with great service. Everything is made to be as perfect as possible. You won't get out of there for less than about $60 per person but I have to say it is well worth it for the overall experience. It's a small place but it is always packed with nice people having a great time.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Winetime
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Visited Highlands twice over a 10 day period and dined here 4 times, that says it all. Moving to the area and certain this will be our number one restaurant of choice in the area.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Okay But Nothing Special
    Daryle
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    It is not that eating at Paoletti was a bad experience, it just was not what I expect from a high caliber restaurant. The food, while okay was not any thing special.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Exquisite Food But Noisy
    WickedWise
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    The price of their food is high, but oh is it worth it! The flavors were far superior to many of the Italian restaurants we've gone to. The only complaint was that it was very noisy. We were seated at a table that was surrounded by groups-so it was very hard to hear our own conversation. Once their food was served, the noise level went dramatically down. This is definitely a place for celebrations and to really enjoy the fine art of dining.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful!!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    This restaurant never disappoints. The food, wine list, and service are all excellent!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • 2knoxfoodlovers
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    The service and set-up is old-school Italian. The menu is more modern and the wine-list is excellent. It is a busy restaurant and is loud and crowded. We had a 9 pm reservation and had to wait a few for a table, but no only about 10 minutes.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mixed bag
    finediningduo
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    Very disorganized. Had reservations for 8:30 - finally seated after 9:00. The hostess seemed to have the responsibility of not only seating patrons but busing and setting up tables for the next party as well. Rack of lamb was good - the Linguine with Clam Sauce was poor. Noise level was much too loud for a fine dining restaurant - a lot of the noise due to intoxicated patrons. Our first experience (last year) was good. This year's experience killed any desire to go back.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Not up to par
    MVE1961VIP
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    We have been frequent visitors to Paoletti's but this occasion didn't meet expectations.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Unmet Expectations
    JFB3VIP
    Dined on 8/4/2014
    Strategically located in downtown Highlands. After reviewing their website, out expectations were high. Proof yet again that website pictures can fool even the most skeptical. The atmosphere was poor, food quality was fair at best and service was bordering on neurotic. Far better choices in Highlands - keeping walking past Paoletti's and go to Wolfgangs.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Disapointing
    Jimmy
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    Been visiting Paoletti for 20+ years and it was disapointing for several reasons which should be brought to Kevin Paoletti's attention. We were there to celebrate our daugters 40th birthday - told this to Paul our waiter twice and he never acknowledged it personally or with a mere cup cake. My daughter ordered the gnocchi special - he assured us it was made with potato and it was mushy ricotta. We sent it back. My wife ordered a pasta special featuring snow peas and it came out with green beans without being informed of the substition - and it was not good. Ryan at the bar was nice and we tasted several wines. Restaurant does not compare with LaGrotta in Atlanta or even Brio (a chain) or Pricci's (a Buckhead Life restaurant in Atlanta.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • An Excellent Experience
    MICHBE
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    Ristorante Paoletti brings together great food, an innovative (and still classic) menu with gray ambience and service. You will not regret experiencing a meal here. My wife and I always order several courses and split them all.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    PAOLETTI's restaurant is, without a doubt, the favorite restaurant of my family in Highlands. The food is always beyond incredible and the service and ambience cannot be matched. We always plan on a couple of visits to PAOLETTI's while we are in the Highkands / Cashiers area. Eating at PAOLETTI's is a MUST DO for our group.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Surprised by how much we loved!
    Momwantstoeatgoodfood
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    We had a great meal here on a busy night! I was expecting a more stuffy atmosphere but was pleasantly surprised. This place has a great vibe! Bartender made us each a "green eyed girl" (fresh basil, lemon sorbet and vodka)-it was the perfect refreshing summer drink and the goat cheese appetizer was a great start to our meal. we ate really late so they were out of their famed lobster ravioli but we will have next time. And there will definitely be a next time!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • TRUE icon of Highlands
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    I always try to go there when in Highlands. The service is second to none!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Food as advertised
    Mtncitylady46
    Dined on 7/2/2014
    Our main course of Alaskan halibut was exceptional , but the duck confit salad was too heavy and should be listed under small plates. Not enough greens for a salad. I was disappointed that the restaurant was so noisy. It was difficult to carry on a conversation.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bad seating
    GeorgiaFoodies
    Dined on 6/30/2014
    When we walked into our reservation we were sat at what could barely be called a table. The cushions in the chair were ripped, tiny table, and at front door. We were told we could have another table but had to leave in one hour. Because we booked on open table that they don't actually save us a table that call in reservations come first. We agreed to this and then we were served burnt lasagna. If you are going to pay over $100 for less than Italian and act like you are so high end that you save certain tables for certain reservations. Act like it and don't serve burnt food. The waiter should have never brought that to our table. They removed from our bill but what a horrible experience. Don't offer open table if you don't honor it.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 32 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 22, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.7
    • Food4.7
    • Ambiance4.6
    • Service4.7
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 142 reviews are from the Ristorante Paoletti reviews archive.
  • Outstanding
    Rays
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    Food was marvelous and they were very accommodating about changing or dinner time. It was old world Italian in all ways especially the flavors.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pricey, but spectacular!
    Walker
    Dined on 6/18/2014
    This restaurant certainly deserves it's #1 TripAdvisor rating - he food was awesome. I had the Maine Lobster & Mushroom Ravioli, my husband had the Stuffed 1-1/4 Pound Maine Lobster, and we split the Arugula Salad. Our server was very helpful and close by whenever we had a need. Be sure to make a reservation early as it is a very popular place! Would definitely go back in spite of the high prices.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Dinner For Two
    bamarph
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    Paoletti's is one of our favorite restaurants. My wife and I had a wonderful dinner for 2. The maître d' recommended a fantastic salad that was a nightly specials with arugula, endive, onions with a Veal Milanese,served with a vinaigrette dressing. Due to their large servings, my wife ordered only an entree of Triggerfish in olive oil and garlic. My main course I was Linguine alle Vongole. It was as good as I had in New York City. The restaurant was packed, every table full with customers waiting in the bar area. Our waiter took care of us and recommended an excellent wine to go with our entrees. The only problem, because Paoletti's is so good, is getting a table. So don't wait till the last minute to try and get a table.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Comfortable and warm
    Cheryl513
    Dined on 5/2/2014
    We had a very nice meal on Friday night. The restaurant is very pretty and warm. The service is professional, the food is very good and the ambiance is what you'd expect in Highlands, NC (upscale, upscale, upscale). I'd go back and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this restaurant. One thing really impressed me- the owner was very much on hand- greeting guests, asking us all if we needed anything, just being a good host.
    Special Features:
    Kid-Friendly, Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • great food!
    mfrankVIP
    Dined on 4/18/2014
    The food at this restaurant was great. They also have a very good wine list with lots of good options including good options by the glass. The service was great and the staff was really friendly. Would definitely return if we were in the area again.
    Special Features:
    Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • SUPERB!!!!
    Bestinmtn
    Dined on 4/18/2014
    As always the best restaurant in Highlands!!!!!! The food never let's you down......
    Special Features:
    special occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always a pleasure
    Highlander
    Dined on 3/30/2014
    The wine list is excellent, the food is wonderful as it the service. We like to dine a little early as the restaurant does fill up and get lively later in the evening, making intimate conversation a bit of a challenge. But not to the point it would keep us away.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • This restaurant reminded me
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 3/29/2014
    This restaurant reminded me of the restaurants in Boston's North End. Great food, lots of "noise", friendly staff. We were there for a combination anniversary and birthday, and had a great time. I now live in Concord, NC, and my only regret is that I have to drive 3.5 hours to get there again. I would recommend that anyone in the Highlands, NC area take in this restaurant.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great visit
    Hoot
    Dined on 3/22/2014
    This place came highly recommended from friends who frequent the area, as well as locals. We were not disappointed!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Italian food, speedy service
    HeatherVIP
    Dined on 3/14/2014
    This is one of our favorite restaurants in the highlands. So many good options on the menu it is hard to choose. There was a slight mix-up amongst the waiters on coverage for our table so our order was slightly delayed but the restaurant got slammed right after we sat down so understandable. I got the eggplant app and the gorgonzola stuffed pork chop for my entrée. They were amazing! I highly recommend for anyone that loves Italian! Right across the street from Old Edwards Inn but make a reservation!
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful Experience to Get Engaged
    EngagedatPaolettis
    Dined on 12/28/2013
    We traveled to Highlands, NC, for the weekend where I proposed at Paoletti's this past Saturday night. The lovely hostess, manager, exceptional waitress and, particularly, the sommelier were, each of them, absolutely wonderful in their making it possible to pull off the event as a complete surprise to my fiance. I couldn't imagine a better place to propose in the entire US of A.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great romantic Italian restaurant!
    Cheryl
    Dined on 12/27/2013
    My husbands lamb dish was excellent! My seafood pasta was pretty good.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Seafood to die for
    Wayne
    Dined on 12/26/2013
    Table ready when we arrived. Wine list, menus, bread and water arrived quickly. Waiter presented fresh sea food specials. Salads and meal were excellent.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Food and Service
    Floridafoodie
    Dined on 12/24/2013
    We dined here twice within 4 nights over the Christmas holiday and the food and service was excellent both times. We ordered the special pastas along with grilled fresh trout and veal pizziola(sp?) We had our two 9 month old twin boys with us and the staff could not have been more accomodating. They even brought out a plate of steamed broccolini as they remembered they enjoyed it on our first visit. We look forward to reeturning in the future.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.