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Paparazzi 1347 Tavern Road, Alpine CA 91901 (619) 722-6751

Bryon and I took advantage of a rare day off to check out Paparazzi, a new restaurant in Alpine. This Italian cucina, located in the former Bread Basket, is casual enough for both a relaxed family dinner and a spur-of-the-moment date night. We enjoyed the laidback atmosphere, although the glare from nearby parked cars can be distracting.

Alexis, our server, was prompt and courteous. Bryon’s caprese stack contained fresh basil and pesto, and was nicely balanced. However, the potato salad that came with it needed a touch of something—vinegar, perhaps?—to save it from being forgettable. Although my mussel chowder was quite tasty, the pancetta overpowered the mussels. The spinach salad’s vinaigrette tied together the flavors of goat cheese, crisp pancetta, tomato, and toasted almond. This salad can be enjoyed as either a light lunch or a first course before dinner. The mushroom ravioli, which is finished with sage butter, would complement the salad well. The wine list is reasonably priced ($7-$15 per glass). If you saved room for dessert, you can choose from gelato from Little Italy or pastries.

Paparazzi is a welcome addition to Alpine’s restaurant community, and we look forward to enjoying more meals there.