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“Valentine's Day Night”

Cynthia's Ristorante
Ranked #23 of 206 Restaurants in Paducah
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $25 - $50
Cuisines: Italian
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Reviewed February 18, 2014

Cynthia's is simply magnificent. We were fortunate enough to reserve a table for two on the evening of Valentine's Day. We thought to check in early to see if a cancellation might have popped up and we could dine earlier. We were told there hadn't been any cancellations and since the small bar there was filled, we were redirected right next door for a drink before our dinner reservations.
Once our table was ready, we were seated in the beautiful rustic dining room. This restaurant is not a large open area but rather a quaint long but narrow dining area that is so suitably decored. The table setting was perfect for the evening.
At the suggestion of our server (Foster) we were invited to a drink before dinner. We settled on a house cabernet which was so different from anything we'd ever tasted. Simply put, it was splendid. It was a superb compliment to the flatbread and olive oil/parmesan served prior to the meal.
We were given a choice of a 1st course (appetizer) and a 2nd course. The appetizers (my wife had a salad - I had a beefy stew) were equally up to the favor of the cabernet.
For our 2nd and main courses, we both chose the veal scallopini. Without reservation, this was the finest scallopini dish I'd ever had. The dish had a dark sauce with a beef flavoring and the potatoes were incorporated right into the dish served on the same plate. The veal was super tender and didn't need the benefit of a knife to cut. I so often order veal when out dining and this had to be the best I've ever encountered. Portions were perfect.
Foster was superb as a server. Checking on our needs several times and asking how we were enjoying after each course. Then to top it off, he suggested a dessert which was a delicate compliment to the entire evening. He met our needs and then some. Fine service.
We closed the evening off with a wonderfully cordial visit with the owner Cynthia. She came to our table and made us feel so welcome, and expressing her gratitude for our visit.
The evening couldn't have gone better. This location is a must when in Paducah. Call ahead for reservations to make sure of availability. You'll love this experience.
This possibly could have been the best meal we've ever encountered while traveling on the road.

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Thank RickKeiser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (110)
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65 - 69 of 110 reviews

Reviewed January 17, 2014

The number one place to eat in Paducah. The food is absolutely the best there is. Wonderful wine selection. Atmosphere is "So Delightful".

Thank rworden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 1, 2013

My wife rated her meal at a 10 and she never does that. Both meals were wonderful, salads were great, entrees were fantastic, and desserts were excellent. Wines were good. Presentation was outstanding and service was prompt and friendly. Great atmosphere and we will definitely go there again. Would recommend reservations. We had none, however we were seated in the bar area anyway.

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Thank catbertcool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 24, 2013

Bottom line- I do NOT recommend this restaurant. More than one aspect of my experience was disappointing.

This rating is only as high as it is because I am taking into account the other two people in my party. They were both pleased with their dishes- the stuffed quail and the filet mignon.

Positives: courteous staff, beautiful interior, pretty bar area, location right in the midst of downtown- convenient to other attractions, classy/upscale ambiance, bread and dipping oil served to the table is super tasty, the other two in my party enjoyed their entrees, my salad was great (see pic). I would also add that they have a good reputation which is what drew us to go there from Tennessee.

Negatives (more details below, but put simply): my entree was not at all good, terrible experience with the bartending- after three chances, no drink was made properly. Overall the restaurant is overpriced considering the quality they deliver.

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More detail: I ordered a Grey Goose dirty martini to start. I was served a martini that had a layer of oil across the top. I drink martinis on a regular basis; sometimes it's possible to see a sheen across the top due to oil from the olives. That is normal. This was not a sheen- it was a thick layer of oil. My friends were also taken aback by this. When I pointed it out to the waiter, he acknowledged it and said "I'm not sure what happened with that but it won't happen again." He took it back to the bar but then returned only to hand me the same exact drink and basically told me that this was normal- that this was due to the blue cheese olives. So, they did not fix the issue and did not offer to replace the drink. Instead, they told me why I was wrong. That is not customer service. Here are my two cents on what actually happened: Dirty martinis are made by adding olive juice to the vodka. Sometimes bleu cheese olives are packed in oil. I believe that the bartender used the oil from the olive jar to make the martini "dirty" instead of using olive brine. Unfortunately, even when it was brought to their attention, the issue was not remedied. I had to ask for the drink to be replaced. I am not into drinking olive oil. ;) I ordered a Tanquerey gin and tonic. Unfortunately it was basically straight tonic water and cost $10.

I ordered butternut squash ravioli with sage brown butter (on the current menu it is a slightly different dish than as it's described on the menu link here on tripadvisor). I did not expect homemade pasta but I am pretty sure that it was, which was a nice surprise. It was fresh and thin just like it should be. However, I could only find filling in ONE of the raviolis. What?! So that left me with just plain ole pasta. The sage brown butter was tasty but it was the only thing on the plate that had any flavor. The portion was small and it was served on raw spinach. It just left a lot to be desired. Had I not already had to send something back, I absolutely would have asked for another entree. At this point, I decided it was just time to cut my losses and allow my friends to enjoy their dishes without ruining the mood.

Bill total was $37 for a good salad, empty ravioli and one cocktail (actually just tonic water).

I was very excited about trying Cynthia's as I have heard about it for years. My experience will prevent me from ever going back or recommending it to anyone. Although my fellow diners enjoyed their entrees and had been wanting to try Cynthia's for a while, they said they do not see themselves making it a point to back anytime soon.

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2  Thank MrsJAMc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2013

My husband and I celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary last weekend with dinner at one of all time favorite places, Cynthia's. One of our first dates was there in 1994. When we want to celebrate a special occasion or just feel like doing an extra special night out, we head there. The grilled mozzarella salad is one of the best dishes I have ever eaten! I cannot bring myself to order anything different for my first course. This time I had the filet with shrimp for my entree and my hubby had the mahi with grilled shrimp. Both were fantastic, as usual! The owner, Cynthia, herself seated us and told us it was their 20th anniversary of opening. We told her how much we have enjoyed coming here over the years..she is a doll! So sweet! Topping off our meal was a delicious creme brulee with a candle to honor our 16 years together! Love Cynthia's!

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

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