Pagliacci’s is one of the most popular Italian restaurants in Victoria. We went in earlier in the day to try to book a reservation, but they don’t take reservations for parties smaller than 6 on Saturdays. When we got there at around 7, the line went out the front door, and it really reminded me of Anton’s here in Vancouver. The line was quite long and was packed inside, but it moved pretty fast. They really make use of every square inch of space. Really crowded.
I tweeted that I was going to Pagliacci’s and quickly got a couple responses saying that their bread was amazing. The person in front of us also said the same thing. We were getting excited. For a starter we ordered the Minnesota Fats. For our mains, I got the Large Ravioli Paradisio, and my friend got the Bicycle Thief II. We also got a pitcher of sangria. The bread came and it was no disappointment. It was so good. The bread had sesame seeds on it, and was nice and buttery. Some pieces were crispy and crustier than others, and those are were the best. The Minnesota Fats weren’t that good though. These were rice balls, that were breaded and deep fried, served with a marinara sauce. The risotto balls didn’t have enough saltiness I thought, maybe a bit more cheese would’ve gave it more flavour, and make it more creamy inside. They couldn’t stand on their own, they definitely needed the sauce.
My large Ravioli Paradiso was a lot of food. This wasn’t a dinky dish with 4 pieces of ravioli, there was a lot here. The blue cheese in the sauce was very strong, very overpowering at first and it actually took me a while to like it. But with each bite I liked the sauce more and more. The ravioli was very tender, but the filling wasn’t that flavourful. The walnuts and sun dried tomatoes really finished off the dish nicely. Nice flavourful, slightly sweet crunch from the walnuts, and nice sour bite from the tomatoes. Lots of different textures, and all worked well. My friend didn’t like my dish because she doesn’t like blue cheese, and it took me awhile to really enjoy it.
My friend’s Bicycle Thief 2 was also really good, although kind of strange. The sauce was just chicken broth, and it was your choice if you wanted to add tomato sauce or not. In the dish was mushrooms, fresh tomatoes, Italian sausage, green onion and fontina cheese with linguine. I love Italian sausage, so this pasta was really good. I’d definitely recommend the tomato sauce, or the regular sauce would be way too watery. She loved it, even the day after because she couldn’t finish her dish.
Overall it didn’t disappoint. This is a very popular place, with line ups like Anton’s. I think the food overall is a bit better, but the portions aren’t as big (as I was actually able to finish a large). The bread was amazing, I’d recommend going just for that. I didn’t like the red sangria though, it could have been more fruity. I’d definitely visit again next time I’m in Victoria.
1001 Broad St