That's Amore At Pane e Vino
Giulietta Avenia | On 01, Nov 2014
I recently attended a food bloggerâ€™s dinner at Pane e Vino and was amazed by the quality of food, the generosity of the staff and the loving, welcoming atmosphere of the restaurant.
Owned by two brothers, Tony and Gino Dâ€™Arenzio, who have taken over from their parentâ€™s ownership, Pane e Vino aims to transport its diners to Italy in the simplest manner possible; with a plate of delicious food and a glass of great wine.
Having Italian heritage, I am always hesitant to enter an Italian restaurant. I detest spending money on food that my mother can cook better, or having one of my familyâ€™s classic dishes ruined either due to incompetency or the restaurantâ€™s attempts at â€˜rebrandingâ€™ a favourite.
This would never happen at Pane e Vino. All the food was delicious and by using only the freshest of local produce, the flavours were modern.
The first dish we shared at Pane e Vino was a standout of the night. Polenta a tavola delivers what its name suggests- polenta on the table. A board of polenta covered in a pork and fennel sausage with a rich tomato sauce was placed before diners. With only a fork in hand, we hungrily attacked this dish as the strong fumes of tomato scented with chilli wafted towards us. Even thinking about this dish has me mentally scanning my fridge, praying that I have the ingredients to prepare a version for my dinner tonight.
Deep fried ravioli filled with goatâ€™s cheese and served with a beetroot aioli followed this first entrÃ©e. There will never be anything wrong with deep fried goatâ€™s cheese.
Our final entrÃ©e was hard to keep clam, I mean calm, about, as it is one of my favourite meals. A bowl of black mussels and Cloudy Bay clams with a sauce of chilli, garlic, white wine and Napoli sugo did not disappoint with the juiciest and fleshiest clams Iâ€™ve had in a long time.
Pane e Vinoâ€™s menu is constantly changing. Rather than being broken up into four seasons, their menu is truly seasonal with dishes going on or off the menu each week depending on what is looking best at the markets. Luckily for us, seafood was looking particularly good this past week. Not only did we enjoy the clams and mussels as an entrÃ©e but they also featured in a linguine alla marinara, alongside prawns and squid cooked in a rich tomato sauce with even more chilli and garlic. The prawns were cooked to perfection and the seafood was plentiful. Nobody will leave hungry after a meal at Pane e Vino!
The other two pasta mains were equally delicious with a spaghetti alla Boscaiola, mixing bacon, mushroom, shallots and a rosette sugo, which is a tomato sauce thickened luxuriously with cream.
Our other pasta was a gnocchi alla gorgonzola, an indulgent blend of gorgonzola, leek, cream, rocket and crispy prosciutto. The flavour of gorgonzola was superbly strong without being overpowering.
Our final main was a confit of lamb that was perfectly cooked and melt-in-your-mouth soft.
For dessert we each had a small tasting board of Nonnaâ€™s tiramisu, panna cotta with a raspberry coulis, an espresso and a glass of lemoncello. Both the tiramisu and the espresso were made with Segafredo coffee, creating a strong, rich taste. This was tempered by the smooth, vanilla flavour of the panna cotta that was liberally drizzled with a vibrant raspberry coulis. Wash it all down with a glass of lemoncello which is a classic Italian digestive, that helps to settle the stomach after such a filling meal!
There is something about good Italian food that makes me seriously happy. Walking into the restaurant, I was tired and desperately wanting my bed. Within 10 minutes I was laughing, constantly eating and having a grand old time. Italian food has the power to do this. Good food is most definitely a happiness booster. Being thin certainly does notÂ feel as good as pasta tastes. Combine this with the engaging owner Tony and his recounting of fond memories of the restaurant and Italy and a beautiful night was set.
Iâ€™ve already assured Tony that I will return soon, once this dreaded Ocsober is over. One of the first meals I hope to enjoy in November is a plate of polenta a tavola with a glass of rich red wine on the side. Then I can sit back, relax and think back to my own fond memories of Italy as I let the delicious food transport me there.
Who: Pane e Vino
Where:Â Cnr Albert and Charlotte Streets, Brisbane
When: Mon-Fri 7am-10pm, Sat-Sun 8am-10pm