Picture taken from here - http://photos.mlive.com/flint-journal/2012/09/palianis_owner_shows_makover_f_3.html
A couple years or so ago I was recommended Paliani's by a couple people. We were able to get a coupon off of restaurant.com so I figured we might as well. My husband was out of town and it was just the two kids (at the time) and I.
When we walked into the dining area, we were shocked at how the seats upholstery was torn up and how uncomfortable the seating was. It didn't seem nice or clean. We thought we'd give the food a shot anyway.
It's been so long ago I honestly don't remember what my daughter ordered but I remember it not being good. My son ordered pasta which was over cooked and the sauce was horrible. On to my meal was a stuffed chicken dish. It was very obviously frozen then cooked so long I couldn't even cut into part of it. My sides were a starch and a vegetable blend. The veggies were the cheapest you can get in food service, you know, the carrots that are crinkle cut and other veggies that come with it. But it all tastes like carrots and is rubbery. Not only was our food really bad, the price was that of a very nice restaurant. I was very disappointed and vowed I would never go back to their establishment. I had never paid so much for such bad food.
Fast forward to this year. We heard that this restaurant was airing on Restaurant Impossible. I kept thinking about what a great opportunity it was for them but very, very skeptical of ever returning because of my very bad past experience. I believe it was in June that the changes began. It's now October (middle of October) and I finally mustered up the courage to go try them out. I'm almost 9 months pregnant and I was too hungry to wait for hubby to make food. So, I figured since they are so close, I would go ahead and try their food. Only take-out this time. My 6 year old son and my 13 year old daughter took the 4 minute drive with me to the restaurant. As we got out of the car I was still very skeptical of what I might receive even though their online menu has since changed and looked a great deal better. I was just hoping I was not going to have overcooked frozen, tasteless food again.
As soon as we walked in we were immediately blown away by the new furniture and decor on the walls. It was gorgeous! I told my daughter I would eat here with daddy on a date it was so pretty! Definitely a big change from before. We went up to the counter to get our food and I couldn't wait to get home and try it. Just seeing the new decor and furniture made me giddy. The smells coming from inside the restaurant this time were very good as well.
I got home, opened up my food and started plating it for myself. The portions were large enough for two meals (the picture only shows 1/2). I started first with the Caesar Salad I was able to add to my meal for $2 more. The dressing was SO good and there was enough of it. I usually get Caesar salads where they don't use enough dressing. This was perfect! There was also freshly grated parmesan cheese and lovely croutons in with it. The salad was lovely! Score #1!! Next up was their breadsticks they've had for years with their sauce. Very yummy! I'm trying to not eat bread but it was pretty good. Score #2! Next up was the Herb Stuffed Chicken with Cheese Polenta and Mushroom Ragout (description of menu). I'm not a polenta fan but this was very tasty! The chicken was fresh, seasoned perfectly and cooked to perfection! Could this really be the same place I had such a horrible experience in the past? Score #3 for my main dish!
All in all I would definitely recommend this restaurant to everyone I know. Not only is it close, it's so good! I love to be able to support local economy and this is one place that will continue to get our money as long as they keep the up the amazing work!