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“Wonderful patio dining and my all-time favorite dessert”

PAON Restaurant & Wine Bar
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Ranked #6 of 343 Restaurants in Carlsbad
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Carlsbad Village Dr.
Transit: Coaster Rail station 100 yards from the restaurant.
Description: Paon restaurant offers California cuisine with French influences. Beautiful patio dining, elegant Art Deco in intimate dining setting. Private dining available in handsome club environment. Paon chef features seasonal, locally grown organic produce for the palates of fine food lovers from all over the world. Spotlighting organic prime meats, game and fish prepared with traditional French sophistication. Beautiful lounge with old Hollywood feel and relaxing patio in a Downtown Carlsbad Village atmosphere. Paon's knowledgeable and attentive staff looks forward to creating an exceptional experience.
Carlsbad, California
Level 6 Contributor
178 reviews
139 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Wonderful patio dining and my all-time favorite dessert”
Reviewed February 9, 2014

We've been to Paon a couple times for dinner, more than a dozen times for dessert and drinks, and to the attached wine bar for tastings a few times, too. I highly recommend dinner and/or dessert as we have always been happy with our meal and the impeccable. Steve and the rest of the staff make you feel welcome with friendly, attentive service and the outdoor dining can't be beat; snuggled in to a cozy patio with a water feature, greenery, ambient lighting, and heat for chillier nights, it's one of my favorite places to eat outside year round.

There is an excellent wine selection, with a wine tasting bar attached to the restaurant (that also serves food - it's a good place to start your meal with some wine tastings and appetizers, particularly with out-of-town guests!). The ahi and salmon tartare duo and the butternut squash soup are my favorite starters, with the beet salad a close third. For dinner I also love the tuna. Everything my husband and I have ever gotten has been perfectly prepared and delicious, some other favorites are the lamb, diver scallops, and braised short rib.

No matter what I get, though, I ALWAYS save room for dessert and I always get the same thing (although I've tried other people's and they've all been great, too!). I LOVE LOVE LOVE their homemade mint ice cream dessert. LOVE doesn't even begin to describe my feelings for this dessert and we often come here just for dessert and coffee on the patio - it's my favorite treat in all of southern California! Not only do you get three scoops of homemade, minty deliciousness (it's the best mint ice cream you'll ever eat, the first time I had it I thought I had bit into a mint leaf with my spoonful), those three scoops are served atop kiwi slices and drizzled with a chocolate coating and crushed pistachios. Hello yumminess! There are also berries and chocolate covered bananas surrounding your three scoops of heaven. I want to go there right now and eat one, even though it's 9am.

Overall, you can't go wrong at Paon no matter the occasion. Go for wine and appetizers for some light fare, dinner for a special occasion or night out, or just for dessert and coffee. All are enjoyable and memorable experiences.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank MyCuppaJo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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336 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Edmonton, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Doesn't Disappoint”
Reviewed February 2, 2014

Thanks to Trip Advisor reviewers, today I had a memorable lunch at Paon in Carlsbad. Believe all that is written on their website as well as the positive reviews. What we ordered and enjoyed doesn't matter because I don't think you can go wrong here. It was difficult to choose among the entrees and desserts and difficult not to sample the delectable food on each other's plates. As well as delivering exceptionally tasty and beautifully presented meals, Will, our server, was friendly and professional. Options for dining include a private room, a deco styled main area, and an inviting front patio that will accommodate the casual diner or those who want to put on the Ritz.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Margo654
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairfax, Virginia
Level 6 Contributor
101 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Second visit.....since last year.....”
Reviewed January 31, 2014

Owners remembered me! Although well known by my son who frequents this restaurant often.
I was still amazed the bartender and owners (Steve and Annie) remembered me. The food was very tasty...had the prosciutto salad with Stilton blue cheese (special for the day) after the tasty Escargot. And the warm homemade bread was just the right accompaniment for both! The Lemon Drop martinis were oh so lemon-y with just a touch of sugar on the rim to make it tangy-sweet.
Definitely plan to visit again while here in Carlsbad for the next month.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank iTGrrl210
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gallup, New Mexico
Level 6 Contributor
149 reviews
80 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“One of the best Restaurants in the area”
Reviewed January 26, 2014

Paon is one of the best French American Restaurants in the greater San Diego area. We have been to Paon many times and will keep coming back.

The food is awesome and the service the best. They also have a nice wine bar where you can have a glass of wine before dinner, just stop in for a wine tasting or have a small bite to eat.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank CasHoefman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Level 6 Contributor
117 reviews
114 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
Reviewed January 19, 2014 via mobile

Had the pleasure of dining at Paon restaurant in downtown Carlsbad and loved it. The food is a return to the classic French style of food that features full flavor with tasty sauces and high quality ingredients. The room is lovely and the outdoor dining looks great. Chef gallardo is a fine chef that teams up with the staff to provide a superior dining experience. I had the beet salad and the chicken breast both fabulous and tasted the steak and pork dishes and they were great as well. I highly recommend Paon for a special occasion or a weekly regular treat. This is a real good solid restaurant and I can't wait to return. Desserts are over the top as well. Bravo Paon you impressed and delivered

Thank Tattalat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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