Cafe Pro Bono – Palo Alto, CA

Few months ago, Meep and I met up w DK for dinner in Palo Alto. During that time, I was looking for Italian restaurants that made fresh pasta. This was what I found – Cafe Pro Bono. Very accessible for DK (who lived in downtown Palo Alto) and for us (a 20 min drive).

When we got there, I was excited because the place was FULL (always a good sign in my opinion) and there was so much bustle; chatting and glasses clinking. The menu was simple and not overwhelming, with two pages.

I was tempted to try the appetizers (esp the crab cakes) but decided to save room for dessert instead.

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Here is what we tried:

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Homemade lobster ravioli in a lemon vodka cream sauce $17.95

Meep ordered the special, which was the ravioli. I was excited to try it but was a little disappointed when we got it. The lobster was processed to the point it had a weird texture and the sauce was too creamy/heavy. Meep thought it was ok though.

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For me:

Grilled Niman Ranch Lamb Chops, Sun dried Cherries, Red Zinfandel Sauce – $24.95

I know I said I was looking for a place with fresh pasta but everytime I see lamb on a menu, I cannot resist. This dish surprised me because I was never a fan of olives, but I actually liked the way the olives turned out when it was combined with the cherries for this sauce.

The lamb was so irregular in size that each piece was cooked to a different temperature. It wasn’t amazing but it was decent.

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DK ordered:

Tagliatelle alla Pro Bono with Porcini a light Alfredo sauce w Chicken $14.95

I thought this was a little boring and a little runny but DK liked it. It was a huge portion!

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For desserts

Tiramisu with rum, chocolate almond sauce $6

Can’t go wrong with tiramisu! A must have every time we eat at an Italian restaurant. We polished this off with tasty fresh brewed coffees.

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Two chocolate mousse with fresh raspberry sauce $6.50

I was not a big fan of this mousse. It was way to sweet, and I thought the raspberry sauce would be a nice fresh contrast to the rich chocolate – but even the sauce was a little sweet (and tangy).

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Total damage : (including 2 wines n 2 coffees n tax) $115

Personal rating: 3.25 out of 5 (Good)

Overall, a good restaurant to visit with a few friends (not a date, it gets a little loud in there with the crowd and small space). Decent prices, good quality food and good quantity.

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Cafe Pro Bono

2437 Birch St
Palo Alto, CA 94306

(650) 326-1757

Cafe Pro Bono on Urbanspoon

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