Sicilian Meatballs

Paparazzi Ristorante Italiano

Check out our latest review of Paparazzi Ristorante Italiano.

Located in the Lafayette Village shopping area of North Raleigh, Paparazzi makes you feel welcome as soon as you walk in the door. The restaurant was open and airy and relatively quiet during the weekday lunch hour. The decor was reminiscent of Old World Italy, and the ambiance can best be described as classic Italian with a touch of sophistication.

The wait staff was extremely friendly, attentive, and professional.

The Appetizer – Sicilian Meatballs

Sicilian Meatballs

Appetizer: Sicilian Meatballs | Cost: $9

Consisting Of: Scamorza (smoked mozzarella), San Marzano tomato sauce, crostini

For our appetizer, we ordered the Sicilian Meatballs. However, we weren’t a fan of the smoked mozzarella. The mozzarella had an extremely rubbery consistency, which made it difficult to eat, and it tasted a little too smokey. The waiter informed us that this appetizer could be ordered without the mozzarella in the future.

The meatballs and the tomato sauce, however, were delicious. The ingredients tasted fresh, and the appetizer was served hot, with crostini bread on top. We would definitely order this appetizer again in the future. We would just advise to order it without the mozzarella. Also, the appetizer is relatively small (only 3 meatballs), so if you tend to have a larger appetite, you may want to order separate appetizers versus share this one.

Chicken Parmesan with Green Beans + Mashed Potatoes

Chicken Parmesan with Beans

Entrée: Chicken Parmesan | Cost: $12

Consisting Of: Chicken on ciabatta bread with San Marzano tomato sauce, mozzarella, and parmesan | Sides: Green Beans with walnuts, roasted garlic & EVOO; Yukon Gold Parmesan Mashed Potato

For lunch, we both ordered from the “Lunch Trio” portion of the menu, opting to get the same sandwich, with different sides. The lunch trio allows you to pick from a variety of sandwiches, with the option to pair your sandwich with any two sides listed on the menu.

For the sandwich shown above, I opted for the green beans and mashed potatoes. The meal was arranged neatly on the plate. The ciabatta bread tasted fresh. However, I found myself having to disassemble the second half of my sandwich to exclude the bread because it was too much bread for me! The meat of the sandwich, the chicken parmesan, was delicious – both hot and flavorful. Though I can’t be sure, the San Marzano tomato sauce that Paparazzi uses tastes incredibly fresh, and it really adds to the meal.

The mashed potatoes and green beans were also great. Personally, I prefer my vegetables without a ton of fanfare. Thus, I found the green beans a little over saturated in EVOO and salt. Next time, I will likely ask for them to simply be steamed without any additional elements added. The mashed potatoes were incredibly delicious as well.

Overall, the meal was very rich in flavor and very filling; it was difficult to finish!

Chicken Parmesan with Roasted Red Potatoes

Chicken Parmesan with Mixed Veggies

Entrée: Chicken Parmesan | Cost: $12

Consisting Of: Chicken on ciabatta bread with San Marzano tomato sauce, mozzarella, and parmesan | Sides: Mixed Vegetable Medley, and Roasted Red Potatoes

Similar to the first meal, the only difference with this meal were the sides. The Mixed Vegetable Medley consisted of roasted, lightly seasoned vegetables: zucchini, squash, red onions, red peppers, and drizzled with EVOO. The Roasted Red Potatoes were also lightly seasoned and were cooked in EVOO with rosemary sprinkled on top.

You can view the lunch menu directly by clicking here.

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