Pagliacci's has been around since the 1970's and has quite the following. Every time we've visited Victoria, we've seen long line ups outside the restaurant; for this reason, we've avoided it, but this time we decided to try it when we went for dinner with Shane's dad. Being from Victoria, Shane had tried the restaurant before, but not in a long while.
Luckily, the weather was clear the night we decided to go, so the wait wasn't too bad even though the line was really long. However, the restaurant was well aware of this and brought us each a beverage as we waited. We thought that was pretty great and quite rare for a non-fine dining place.
The interior of the restaurant was filled with knick knacks and bright yellow walls. The space was really small, and tables were jammed into the restaurant with very little room for people to move. We were probably six inches from the next table. It was a little uncomfortable.
The complimentary foccacia bread was amazing and unique. It was flaky, buttery and utterly rich. It was really irresistible.
Shane had "The Heart of Saturday Night", which had artichoke hearts, capers, olives, red peppers in a tomato sauce over fettucine ($14). The pasta was well cooked, but the sauce lacked punch. With those ingredients, you might expect assertive, briny flavours, but the whole dish tasted really bland. The tomato sauce lacked the freshness that the lasagna had, and even the olives and capers imparted no flavour. In fact, we had to add a bunch of salt to this dish to make it palatable.
I've thought of the lasagna many times since this visit and can't wait to return. I had my doubts about this place before I went, but I now understand the long line-ups!