O'Fallon >Food & Dining > Paulo's At The Mansion
1680 Mansion Way, O Fallon, IL | Directions 6226938.582842 -89.881687
Neighborhoods: O Fallon
Horrible – The Mansion itself is located on a beautiful piece of land and the exterior was rather breathtaking as we approached at sunset, then we opened the door into what was reminiscent of a campy, spaghetti-western brothel. The kitschy interior was preface to what became the worst dining experience I have ever had. First, and foremost, the host was drunk! Im not talking about "hey, did the host seem a little buzzed to you?" I mean he was stumbling, stuttering, white-foam on the corners of his lips DRUNK! When I asked the waiter if it was normal for an employee to be at work so inebriated he replied "when you are co-owner it doesnt really matter." Needless to say my ideas of fine dining were spoiled from the start. I could go in to detail about how bad the service and the food were but there is no point...It is easily summed up with one word, HORRIBLE! Never have I had such a hard time paying for a meal.
Great! – My wife and I had dinner at Paulo's last night. All I can say is AWESOME! It was a Friday night and we didn't have a reservation, but the host was very accommodating. We decided to wait the fifteen minutes the host told us it would be before a table was available. It actually took more like twenty minutes but the host was attentive and kept us apprised of what was going on with the table which I thought was nice.
The featured appetizer was great! (Gotta try the Hog Wings!) I had the prime strip which was cooked perfectly and tasted even better. My wife had the Chicken Valdastano (SP?) After listening to her rave about the sauce for 10 minutes I had to try it. It was delicious.
Service was attentive without being overbearing, appreciated that.
Overall, a great experience and we will go back!
Why are they ripping us off? – I was born and raised in O'Fallon until I was 18, and since moving away 25 years ago my family and I still make it back every couple of years to visit our parents. I have owned and been the head Chef of my own Restaurant in Orlando FLA for the last 18 yrs, and every time we come to O'Fallon for a visit I keep my fingers crossed that there will be a real restaurant in town that cares about food and customers, I’m sorry to say Paulo’s does not. And since so many of my Local friends love the place I had to tell them my opinion and even felt it necessary to get online and review it...
AMBIANCE: Very Beautiful, the exterior of the Mansion was getting re-painted while we visited. The interior is soft and earthy in color and dark and romantic in lighting. I wasn’t sure about the horse statues that seemed to run through out the building(I guess they just like horses), and there was a statue of a male-mermaid wearing sunglasses, beads, and carrying a cocktail(not kidding) that did seem very out of place? Being a stickler for restaurant decor I notice it all!
STAFF:... this is wear things got real weird. My wife and I arrived 45 minutes before meeting our friends for dinner to have a drink. There were two male bartenders working and from the moment we walked in, one of them was drinking wine and from his opening "hello" he seemed rather drunk. After watching them struggle to keep up with what seemed like a slow Thursday night, I couldn’t help but count every glass of wine that this guy drank while we were at the bar. He had 5! Before we got seated, at 530pm! After his third glass of white, I could not help but to strike up some convo and ask him some questions, turns out he is the host/bartender/FOH manager/co-owner! On a positive, since both my wife and I appreciate a drink, and the chance to laugh about this guy later...it was funny, BUT I was worried about the shape of the guys in back cooking my food! The Server who waited on us was also apparently under the influence...or just very hangover. Either way he looked unkempt and also struggled with his short term memory and speed of service. It made perfect sense after meeting the boss man, i doubt there servers have ever had much training.
FOOD: They call their steaks Prime, that is just not the truth! I have been working with steak for so long that I cant be fooled by inferior product. The reason you can charge more for prime is because there IS a noticeable difference, his steaks were Choice--which is fine, but don’t rip me off! The side Sauces which sell for $3 are also fake and not very good. I had a Béarnaise and there were NO eggs in that Sauce! It was a powder mix. Same for the Bordelaise, it was out of a can! The Sea bass was the only thing that tasted like a quality product--or rather lived up to the quality of which they advertise it as--The Salmon which was titled as "Tasmanian" may have been, but they served my Wife the very tale end and it came out dry. The desserts were blatantly NOT homemade! I mean seriously, you can get the same cheesecake at any chain cafe in town, they all order it from the same place, its good, but its NOT homemade! Here is the website where you can see the same raspberry cheesecake that they serve!!!
The reason I’m writing this is because I feel for my Family and friends who live in O'Fallon. They are all such smart people, but because they have no options, they are stuck calling Paulo’s "Fine Dining" and they are stuck paying ridiculous prices for sub-par food. Go downtown to St.Louis and go to Niche, or An American Place or a handful of others that actually serve what they advertise. Go online and look at ther prices Compared to Paulo’s, the gas money you spend will still be less than what you will overpay for a Steak. Someday, someone will have the knowledge and ability to buy the Mansion and run a legit place, if it werent for the Beach and weather in F
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