Pausa in downtown San Mateo is interesting Italian restaurant with very well executed creative dishes. Many of their key ingredients are made in-house, e.g. all of their charcuterie, pasta, pizza, gelato etc. Service was professional but at the same time relaxed and laid back. Overall very good dinner and highly recommended.
Started the night with some good m/cocktails with both of them not overly sweet and well balanced - fico d’india - mezcal, opuntia prickly pear, lime, tamarind, agave, tajin rim; pisco punch - pisco, passion fruit, lemon, simple
Charcuterie plate was outstanding with everything made in-house - Pausa Prosciutto 30 months, Mortadella pistachio, garlic, black pepper, Salame del Doge squid ink, lemon zest, garlic, tigella, cunza, pickles, whole grain mustard.
Napa cabbage, daikon, parmigiano & pine nut chips, garlic squid ink croutons, crispy quail eggs – I need more crispy quail eggs in my life
kurobuta pork belly, 24 hr slow-cooked, celery root puree, fava beans, spring onions, pickled mustard seeds, pork demi-glace – it’s hard to make pork belly bad but this was a very good version – very tender but at the same time with enough “bite” and the right “sides” to balance the richness
chestnut linguine, octopus ragu, chickpeas, calabrian chile, dried olive dust, parsley, lemon zest, crispy rosemary – great octopus which wasn’t cut too small to get overwhelmed by everything else and nice subtle heat in the background from the chile
red wine malloreddus, taleggio & tartufata fonduta, grated black truffle, hazelnuts, crispy baby kale, truffle oil - if you like black truffle (and our daughter does) that is a great dish
kurobuta pork chop, sunchoke & burrata puree, charred onions, potato mash, crispy beluga lentils, pickled sunchoke, frisee pork demi-glace – cooked medium (as it should be) with tasty amounts of pork fat – pork heaven
Dessert required another m/cocktail - lo stallone - tequila reposado, amaretto, lemon, agave, egg white, chocolate bitters, fresh rosemary
lemon tartufo, vanilla cake, citrus curd, lemon mousse, yuzu & almond glaze – dessert continued to impress with excellent execution
bomboloni, sheep ricotta doughnuts, house made nutella, banana anglaise, cocoa nib cream, hazelnut cremosa – the bomboloni were great but the house made Nutella was the star of the dish
affogato, espresso, vanilla gelato, cranberry cantucci