Paesano’s Pasta House focused on friends, food for 20 years

Italian restaurant one of three Oxford eateries for owner.

For nearly 20 years, Paesano’s Pasta House has been a fixture in Oxford. Since opening in November 2004 in the heart of Miami University’s campus, Paesano’s has served everyone from Miami students and their visiting families to Oxford residents, and owner Mike Patterson is motivated to keep going forward.

Like many Italian restaurants, Paesano’s has a cozy atmosphere and the usual staple dishes like spaghetti, pizza and caprese salad. What sets Paesano’s apart is the “create your own” approach, which is one of the prides of the menu. Patterson also notes the inclusivity of dietary restrictions and the quality of the ingredients.

“We do not take short-cuts, and therefore do not serve deep-fried food at any of our restaurants,” Patterson said. “We pride ourselves in making almost all of our dishes from scratch, with an emphasis on individual made-to-order sauces, and we do like to brag about our alfredo.”

Patterson said the key to a successful restaurant is consistency, “and with the help of excellent staff we have been able to maintain high quality and high standards throughout the years.”

The name comes from the Italian word “paesano” or “paesan,” which technically means “countryman” but can also refer to a good friend.

The name is a reference to how Paesano’s came about: It was a collaborative effort between Patterson and two friends, Pat Lanni and Mike Sheff. It also refers to what Paesano’s aims to be: A place where good friends gather to eat, drink, and have a good time.

Patterson and his wife Michelle are also owners of two other restaurants in Oxford, Patterson’s Café and Cru Gastro Lounge, so they are fixtures in Oxford, as is Paesano’s. To Mike Patterson, it’s a blessing.

“The residents of Oxford have been nothing but welcoming and loyal patrons since the day we opened our doors,” he said. “The ‘locals’ have provided a solid base for our 20 years of successful dinner service. Equally important are the students, their visiting parents, and the staff and faculty of Miami University. How fortunate we are that every start of the academic school year brings 4,000 new freshmen students to town, and their families, who will be our customers for the next four years until graduation.”

Owning three restaurants is not easy, especially with the staffing and inflation problems faced by the restaurant industry after the COVID-19 pandemic, but the staff and the loyal patrons make it easier. As Paesano’s rings in its 20th year, the main focus is just to keep going, to keep providing good food and drink, superior service, and wonderful experiences to customers.

Paesano’s Pasta House is located at 308 S. Campus Ave. in Oxford. It is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays and open 5-9 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

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