Price: $ (up to $15.00)
Picasso was a groundbreaking artist, a visionary and a chef? Who knew? This little place in Mandarin is somewhat hard to find if you've never been but I think it may be a small gem that is worth finding. They have a vast menu with options for every person and every taste. The atmosphere is very laid back and friendly with bright green accent walls complemented by red-trimmed chalk boards listing some of there menu items. And what would an Italian restaurant called Picasso's be without abstract paintings hanging from every wall?
Now to the food. I don't know about you guys but I am a hardcore mushroom lover so what did I order? The stuffed mushrooms. The version I am used to having involves the mushrooms drowning in cheese but these were different. Strictly stuffing. And oh man were they good. Some of the best I've had which definitely says a lot considering that stuffed mushrooms are usually the first appetizers I look for on any menu. Slightly crisp on the outside, velvety smooth inside and sprinkled with Parmesan and fresh basil, served with marinara and pesto sauce. Yum!
I chose the Roasted Chicken Manicotti for my entree. I've ordered manicotti many times before and this one was pretty good. Definitely a dish for cheese lovers. The soft shells had a smooth filling and the creaminess of all the cheese with the marinara and basil went together nicely. One thing they did with this dish that I didn't really find appetizing was that they minced up the chicken, pretty much pulverized it, to where the chicken and cheese were almost the same consistency. Maybe it's just me but I'd prefer chunks of chicken instead something in which I couldn't tell if it was the meat or the cheese. But all in all it was a pretty descent dish.
These little food adventures are like dates for me and my boyfriend. We really enjoy exploring and trying new things so of course he came with me! He ordered a bacon cheeseburger. At an Italian restaurant. Go figure. Anyways, from what he told me, the cheeseburger wasn't really anything too special. It was supposed to have a special sauce but he couldn't taste it so that disappointed him a bit. One unique thing about it was that they didn't serve it with the typical sort of bacon you'd expect. It came with thick, diced chunks of seared bacon which looked really good. Something different from the norm, right?
While the small restaurant is inviting and friendly, two important things that I believe Picasso's really needs to work on is its professional demeanor and its cleanliness. While we were waiting on our food, we could hear one of the employees talking to his co-workers about partying over the weekend and he mentioned a few things that no one really wants to hear while eating. There were also a few tables that were filthy from the time we got there until the time we left. Not one person came to clean them up which bothers a neat freak like me.
But we did like it well enough to promise and come back to try the pizza because it honestly looked and smelled amazing! I see a future pizza pie date!