Pacific Grove is one of the most charming cities in California, and Favaloro’s Big Night Bistro, has just as much charm as the whole city. In fact, it is the only Mom and Pop restaurant in Pacific Grove. It is also a family affair, all being Italian. This is the only restaurant in this area that Italians come to eat, old school style of course. Owners Marie and Nino (he is from Sicily Palermo) like to keep things very authentic. Stepson, John who handles all the day-to-day business including being a server, loves his job. He can tell you about all of the history of the restaurant as well as the Italian immigrants here in Pacific Grove. Nino was a fisherman for 30 years in Monterey County, which is still rich with lots of seafood. Marie stays in the kitchen and cooks all of the wonderful food.
The interior is cozy and warm, with Italian Rock music playing in the background. Adorned with a faux fireplace, long hanging Tiffany style lamps, and fresh olive green faux walls.
Here’s what I tried:
This tasting, the majority of the specials were not on the menu.
Calamari Fritti- Monterey Bay calamari lightly breaded and deep-fried, served with a lemon basil tartar sauce. The batter is heavy, but the calamari is tender and good.
Special Salad with beets, avocado, prosciutto, and feta cheese served with mango balsamic vinaigrette. I am not the biggest fan of beets but I am learning to like them. This salad was super healthy and the crispy prosciutto was an added bonus.
Gnocchi with tomato cream sauce, and cremini mushrooms.
Nino makes these by hand, and the sauce is just fantastic.
Velasco Salmon- cooked in Salmon parchment paper, with bread crumbs, baby boc choy, steamed vegetables, and
Couscous/rice. This is by far the best salmon on the planet.
Chardonnay, Edna Valley, Paragon Vineyard- I would pair this one with the Calamari. It is a fruity, no nonsense chardonnay that lends itself to the buttery goodness of the calamari.
Chardonnay, MacMurray, Russian River. The mango balsamic vinaigrette mimics the same acidity in this wine and works great.
Pinot Noir, Underwood, Oregon. What a great wine, with its light subtle textures. It managed to go perfect with the Gnocchi, tomato cream sauce, and cremini mushrooms. Just the little hint of tomatoes in the sauce matched the rich flavors.
Zinfandel, Maggio, CA. A nice jammy Zinfandel goes with any meat dish, but for me, I love this wine with the Salmon.
Mini Chocolate Pistachio Cannoli- little rolls with pistachio cream in the middle, very light and fluffy.
Mascarpone Custard with fresh berries and light as a feather-angel pudding.
They use all organic product, and sustainable seafood. John says his staff has to eat the food as well, “We are not going to feed the public something that we would not eat.”
The table that I sat at is reserved for only friends and family, so right away I felt so much at home! Sometimes their customers get to go to Papa Nino’s house for dinner, if they are lucky. Hopefully I will be invited next time I come to this marvelous town and restaurant, but for now I am happy with just eating the spectacular food at Favaloros Big Night Bistro.
Favaloros Big Night Bistro
545 Lighthouse Ave,
Pacific Grove, CA 93950