Papa Gianni’s Ristorante is a Cameron Park Staple
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Papa Gianni’s is a Cameron Park staple. For two decades, the family-owned eatery has been serving traditional, scratch-made recipes from Southern Italy, including favorites like chicken Parmesan and gnocchi alla vodka. Topped with a carefully chosen wine list and out-of-this-world desserts, it’s the ideal destination to celebrate a special occasion or grab weeknight takeout.
It was raining cats and dogs on the Sunday evening my husband and I stopped by for dinner, but even with a packed house, the hosts were friendly, and the servers fast and enthusiastic. For starters, we opted for the Sausage and Peppers, which featured spicy Italian sausage, thinly sliced seasoned potatoes and sautéed-to-perfection green peppers that warmed the very cockles of our hearts. Tag-teamed with lots of crispy, piping hot garlic bread, we were off to a mouthwatering start.
For mains, I picked the Pollo Francesco, and my husband ordered the classic lasagna. The chicken in my selection was melt-in-the-mouth tender, while the flavorful cream sauce it was bathed in boasted plenty of succulent mushrooms and artichoke hearts. Served alongside a heaping pile of penne marinara, I’d never seen so much deliciousness. My husband’s lasagna was cooked perfectly—thick, al dente noodles were layered with ricotta, mozzarella, lashings of brightly flavored tomato sauce and Italian sausage. The portions were beyond generous, too—so generous in fact that they should register as non-profit organizations.
I had kept my dessert stomach on standby for an order of cannoli. Alas, cannoli was temporarily unavailable for the evening. Rather than flip the table in protest (I do love my cannoli), I was swayed by a delicious piece of tiramisu instead. Cannoli who?
I know why Style readers voted Papa Gianni’s the “Number One Favorite Italian Restaurant” in El Dorado County; if you still don’t know, make a reservation and find out…pronto!