Let me start this review by stating - we did not come to Cancun for the food. We came for the sun and the beach. With that said, Locanda Paola is a perfectly delightful restaurant.
Located off the "strip" (Hotel Zone) just inside the city limits of Cancun proper, the restaurant is a beautifully apportioned place with a real "presence." We went on a Saturday night (at the North American dinner hour of 6) and we were the only table in the place. The servers were kind enough to move us to a table in the back of the restaurant which afforded a sort of intimate dining space.
The food and wine is nicer than I expected - with a mix of traditional provincial Italian dishes and new-world fusion. We started our meal with an antipasti platter. Be certain to ask for the antipasti, as it is not listed on the menu and a true specialty of the house. We paired our first course with a nice prosecco. Dinner was a mix of seafood specials and traditional pasta dishes. At every course the wait staff were ever attentive and made certain we had everything we needed - including accommodating our 4-year olds dislike of "green" fetuccini (she is a true creature of habit).
The crowning jewel of the evening for the kids was the home-made gelato. The crown jewel for us adults was the house-made Limocello. Oh my goodness - that was some of the best I've ever had.
Do yourself a favor, venture outside of the hotel zone (take the bus) and go to Locanda Paola. You will not be sorry.
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