Galleria de Paco | Midwest Living
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Galleria de Paco

622 Commercial St
Waterloo  Iowa  50701
United States
(319) 833-7226
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    - Josh Wimmer
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Midwest Living Review

Josh Wimmer
A replica of Michelangelo's famous Sistine Chapel ceiling graces this elaborately painted restaurant, but the food isn't quite as artful.

Galleria de Paco is more famous for its art than its food. There's really nothing else like this place--a restaurant with a ceiling and walls painted to look like Michelangelo's famous Sistine Chapel. The artist responsible for decorating this remarkable space is Paco Rosic, an immigrant from Sarajevo whose family owns the restaurant. It has the luxurious atmosphere of an old European banquet hall, with high-backed chairs and blue-and-gold tablecloths. A replica of Michelangelo's "David" stands near some stairs, which lead down to the Catacomb Lounge jazz club. Galleria de Paco's food is OK, but it doesn't qualify as the sort of fine cuisine that the restaurant aspires to serve. We tried a four-course prix-fixe dinner. The sweet and sticky bacon-wrapped shrimp appetizer was tasty, but seemed more like comfort food than anything fancy. The salad was quite good, blending fresh lettuce with strawberries, walnuts and chunks of blue cheese in a raspberry vinaigrette, but the pork-chop entree was barely seasoned and came with generic rice pilaf and undercooked asparagus. The chocolate cake for dessert was rather ordinary. In addition, service was just so-so. However, for all of its drawbacks as a dining experience, Galleria de Paco is definitely worth visiting, just to get a look at the art.

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