At the beginning of episode 1 of Ristorante Paradiso, “Nicoletta”, the namesake for the episode arrives in Rome. Nicoletta is looking for the restaurant “casetta dell’orso”, hoping to talk with the owner. Once she finds the restaurant, she’s told that the owner is not in yet but should shortly arrive, so she’s willing to wait. While she’s waiting, one of the restaurant staff offers her coffee, and Nicoletta’s first impression of the staff member is that he’s a kind-looking man. She also notices that everyone working at the restaurant were old men wearing reading glasses.
The owner and his wife finally arrives, but the wife is shocked when she sees Nicoletta and drags her out of the restaurant. The wife is actually Nicoletta’s mother Olga, and Nicoletta came to Rome fully intending to reveal to the husband that her mother had not only been divorced but also had a 21-year-old daughter, i.e. Nicoletta herself. Shortly after her divorce with Nicoletta’s father, Olga had left Nicoletta with her grandmother when she was a child to marry a man who did not like someone divorced. Olga visited Nicoletta only rarely despite having promised otherwise, so Nicoletta intends to get a bit of revenge by revealing the facts to Olga’s husband.
Olga does manage to delay Nicoletta’s exposé by promising to talk about it later, and for now she introduces Nicoletta as a daughter of a friend. It’s amusing to see Nicoletta going along with it for now after seeing her poor mother’s distress, and it’s even more amusing to see how Nicoletta surreptitiously needles her mother. Claudio, the staff member that handed Nicoletta a cup of coffee earlier, is now serving the food, and Nicoletta’s next impression of him is that he has beautiful manners and is a gentleman. The food is quite good, but it’s soon made clear that the staff is another reason that the restaurant is so popular, especially among the ladies. Not only are the staff all attractive old men, they all wear reading glasses as part of their attraction, to the point that the chef Furio even wears fake glasses, and this is all due to Olga’s tastes.
The next day, Nicoletta wakes up and finds herself annoyed at her mother for being so happy. Her mood doesn’t get any better when Olga calls to put off their promised talk, but at least her mother is going to provide Nicoletta a place to live. With nothing better to do, Nicoletta goes out and tours Rome, thinking about what she should do for the future. She eventually comes across Claudio, and Nicoletta’s next impression of him is that he’s sexy with the way he greets her. Claudio would have offered to show Nicoletta around Rome, but because he has to get to the restaurant, he instead offers her to eat with the staff before the restaurant opens.
As they walk to the restaurant, Nicoletta wonders what Olga’s husband sees in her mother, going so far as to satisfy her tastes with the restaurant staff. Claudio thinks that the husband is just trying to make his wife happy, that she deserves it because she’s a fantastic woman. It’s the latter point that Nicoletta is quietly annoyed about, which would have been her ridiculing the notion that her mother is a great woman if it were not for the fact that Nicoletta isn’t quite sure why she was annoyed with Claudio saying so: Nicoletta is obviously feeling jealous even if she doesn’t realize it. And she finds herself blushing when Claudio holds her steady after someone collides with her.
At the restaurant, Nicoletta finds herself precipitously taken to Claudio as he invites her into the building after getting dressed up for work. She also gets to learn a bit about all of the restaurant staff, where we see that Vito, Furio, and Claudio have wedding bands on their ring fingers, although it is the apparent marital status of Claudio that bothers Nicoletta.
That night, Nicoletta moves into the apartment prepared by her mother. Olga left a large teddy bear as a welcoming present, which reminds Nicoletta of her birthdays with her mother while they still lived together. The next day, Nicoletta has started to become a regular visitor to the “casetta dell’orso”, at which point the episode ends. And the next episode is broadcast immediately afterwards.