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Ristorante Pappagallo Review
Pappagallo, Italian for "parrot," hauntingly perches on the edge of a lagoon in a 14-acre bird sanctuary. Inside, riotously colored macaws, cockatoos, and parrots perch on swings behind plate glass, primping, preening, and practically commenting on the billing and cooing clientele. You feel like hacking through the luxuriant vegetation inside and out; the lost-in-the-jungle exoticism is enhanced by locally hewn stones, bamboo, homemade rope, and thatched palapas for outdoor seating. Yet the sleek deco-inspired black marble–and–polished brass accents bespeak the underlying seriousness. Chef Steve Wagner's food is definitely not for the birds. Chunky yet silken sweet potato chowder is enlivened by clams and jalapeño-cured bacon. The kick of a jerk pork tenderloin flamed with Jack Daniels is softened by blueberry sauce and cooling lavender and mint accents, each element providing sterling textural counterpoints. Be sure to thank Bogie, the African gray parrot, who really rules the roost.
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