For years, Don Papa was a UNNC favorite. Seated adjacent to its campus, teachers and students alike flocked to the shop for pizzas, pastas and other Italian favorites. The shop closed its doors earlier this year, only to be reborn as a stylish two-story restaurant and bar on Tianjing Lane, a welcome move for a certain magazine staff.
Owners/wife-and-husband/chefs Jane and Steven have finally settled in to their smart, comfortable new location without missing a beat.
The emphasis remains on fresh, authentic Italian cuisine, as evidenced by the comforting aroma of tomato sauce, fresh baked dough and a variety of cheeses that greets customers at the door. For the uninitiated, Don Papa’s menu features all the staples you’d expect—pizzas with both traditional and international topping choices, calzones, pastas and the like.
Where the restaurant excels is in the quality of its ingredients and craftsmanship. The Florentine pizza, which Jane says is her personal favorite, comes topped with crunchy green spinach and freshly-shaven parmesean slices. Don Papa’s uses an especially fresh and salty prosciutto in both its Prosciutto pizza and appetizer plate.
The latter is accompanied by a crispy little rocket salad and a nicely-balanced balsamic vinegar. The carbonara is stocked with a rich cream sauce and roasted in the oven for a toasty, cheesy top.
The restaurant is also a beautiful, inviting place to sit. The design makes intelligent use of the space, with a variety of seating that allows for a number of different dining experiences. It features spaces that are suited for both intimate dinners and large get-togethers, along with a general seating area on the first floor for dining amongst a crowd of people.
But the atmosphere isn’t just painted or hanging on the walls. The husband and wife combo of owners and proprietors along with the steady presence of the restaurant’s loyal regulars give it an intangible warmth that is sometimes hard to come by in this city. There is something comforting about a place that people keep coming back to. A new location isn’t going to change that about Don Papa.
Tel: 159 6789 7895
Address: No.166 Tianjing Lane, Yinzhou District
Show the Taxi: 带我去鄞州区天静巷166号
And now, some gratuitous pizza photos: