Pazzo Restaurant, Westbrook
A depleted refrigerator seemed like a good excuse to go to the Pazzo Italian Restaurant on Rt. 1 in Westbrook, since we had not been back since the ownership changed late last year. Upon entering we couldn't help but notice the lounge area outside the bar had been equipped with a wide-screen TV tuned to a sports channel (luckily the volume was on low) with a warmer pan containing happy-hour munchies. There are two fairly small dining rooms and an outdoor patio. We were seated immediately (without reservations) but noticed that a large (11) family party that came in after us had to wait 10 minutes or so for the wait staff to push the required number of tables together. The decor is restrained, but do glance up to see the ceiling murals.
As the new name suggests, the menu now has a strictly Italian flavor, with three or four options apiece of veal, chicken and seafood entree's, plus a whole page of pasta variations. I opted for the lobster ravioli, with many fairly large striped ravioli stuffed with cheese and presumably lobster. It was ok, but any lobster flavor seemed a bit overwhelmed by the tomato sauce. The accompanying small salad had a nice variety of fresh baby greens and veggies, and the side of spinach was tasty but I could have wished for a bit more. My partner's spinach salad was big enough that she took home half of it, but left out the cold bacon strips. They were out of the "Drunken Goose" wine in the menu (I know--don't pick wine by the name, but I couldn't resist!) so I settled for an adequate Pinot Noir. We passed up the usual Tiramasu and cheesecake desserts for their "Magic Cube", a slightly overpriced concoction with layers of chocolate and vanilla ice cream and hidden cherries coated with a chocolate glaze. The wait staff was friendly and didn't pester us.
Altogether, we missed the few experimental items on the previous owner's menu, and consider this a fairly good Italian restaurant, but nothing to make it stand out in comparison to the many others on the shoreline. By the way, there are some negative reviews on other web sites, but all I saw dated from the previous owners, so you should disregard them.