Voting Home / Paolo's Italian Restaurant
Nominated for: BEST Italian
Paolo's started as a dream of Paul's when he was 8 years old. He knew he wanted to be a chef. Fortunately, he had a training program available at this young age--his Italian mother to cook with at home and his father to show him the restaurant business as the owner of the Golden Steer Restaurant in Kent. Paul's desire to become a chef and restaurant owner never wavered. He began working in the family restaurant when he was 15 years old. After high school, he completed the Food Sciences program at South Seattle Community College and was offered an opportunity to help open the Kirkland Roaster and Ale. He worked there for two years, and then pursued a job at the well-respected Saleh Al Lago restaurant on Green Lake in Seattle. This job firmly established Paul's interest in opening an Italian restaurant in his hometown of Kent. Paolo's began taking shape in 1989. Paul's parent's, Don and Darlene Raftis, were ready to sell their burger place, the Bum Steer. Paul thought it was the right moment to turn his dream into reality, and with a location right next door to his parents' restaurant, Paul knew he would always have support and free “tips” from his dad. Before opening Paolo's, Paul traveled to Europe with his parents. Paul's goal was to enjoy a wonderful vacation before remodeling the burger joint into Paolo's, but also to experience as much Italian food and culture as possible. He collected many recipe ideas and a sense of the Italian passion for food, wine and hospitality that he wanted to re-create at Paolo's.
Excellent food, excellent service, excellent value. Paolo's wine dinners are outstanding and well worth the time and money. Good selection of traditional Italian dishes on the menu and the seasonal specials add variety so we never tire of eating Paolo's.
Vote: BEST Italian