If Frank Sinatra was still alive and came to visit Memphis, he might get a craving for some delicious Italian food. And if he did, he might just stop by Pa Pa Pia’s Authentic Italian Restaurant Restaurant on Union Avenue downtown.
I went there for a mid-week lunch, and ended up ordering the same exact thing I had ordered the last time: Caesar salad with salmon. The crispy lettuce and crunchy croutons were lightly tossed with salty dressing, and topped with a delicious grilled portion of salmon.
My friend ordered the same thing, but convinced me to share an appetizer with him. Pa Pa Pia’s has a special summer menu with items like calamari served with pesto aioli and a chicken Parmesan sandwich. We decided to try the shrimp a la plancha, which roughly translated means “grilled on a metal plate.”
The shrimp were served in a rich butter and garlic sauce, with lots of red and yellow peppers. After the shrimp disappeared (which happened very quickly), we sopped up the rest of the sauce with the light garlic bread.
Several of the items on the special summer menu will transition to the regular menu in the fall, so if you don’t have time to get to the restaurant before September, you won’t have to miss out on the pesto carbonora or grilled chicken Alfredo pizza.
The prices are reasonable and the food is delicious. Really, the only thing missing is Frank Sinatra and his baby blue eyes.