Feasting Like Italian Medici at Scottsdale’s Pane e Vino Ristorante
The Internet is replete with ranking sites that will cheerfully give a grade of some sort to a particular type of travel or leisure.
We absolutely celebrate variety, and further love to share our experience when we find a particularly remarkable varietal.
Such is the case with Scottsdale, Arizona’s Pane e Vino Ristorante.
We love Italy. We love Italian food. And we love Pane e Vino Ristorante!
Interestingly, the owner (Mark Stricker) can be generally found fishing (photographs of such activities adorn the lobby), while the affable English manager (Stuart Bailey, who hails from England’s Sherwood Forest) is evidently prohibited from entering the kitchen.
This was our fourth visit to Pane e Vino Ristorante, and this time we found ourselves perched in one of their romantic booths where we could simultaneously feel romantically adrift from the rest of the world, yet, have the activity of the restaurant in our clear view.
We started our epicurean journey with a beautiful Italian Chianti, and fresh baked breads that we dipped in olive oil accompanied with garlic and fresh olives. Bellissima!
For our Antipasti, Carol ordered their Arugula Salad (candied walnuts, feta cheese, pears, and Dijon vinaigrette), while I, (surprise, surprise) opted for Cozze Sambuca (mussels, herbs, garlic). Normally, you would find me screaming for joy over my mussels, but unfortunately (sorry guys) the sambuca flavoring just didn’t do it for me. I guess the sweet aniseed-flavored liquor (sambuca), in my palate’s view, doesn’t compared with a beautiful garlic flavored white wine sauce.
Nonetheless, this one minor disenchantment certainly wasn’t going to sabotage what I knew was further along in our journey.
For our Primi, Carol and I shared a half order of their absolutely, stomp your feet, scream for joy Spaghetti Carbonara (bacon, onion, egg yolk, white wine sauce). The first time I ever enjoyed this dish was in a little restaurant right across the street from St. Peter’s in Rome. Pane e Vino’s Carbonara stacks up with the best!
For our Secondi, Carol greatly enjoyed their Veal Special (veal, sweet sausage, sun-dried tomato, gorgonzola, wild mushrooms, and white wine sauce), while I, well…how to say this…my taste buds enjoyed an ecstasy seldom found as I savored their Cioppino (shrimp, scallops, calamari, clams, mussels, salmon in a thin spicy red sauce with linguine). Absolutely out of this world!
We weren’t planning to further indulge in a desert as both of were gleefully longing for a comfortable place to be all nostalgic about our fabulous meal. However, Mr. Sherwood Forest would not take no for an answer, and brought us a huge helping of their home-made Tiramisu. It was heavenly, but we were forced to box most of it up for another day. We just couldn’t eat another bite!
I hope I have convinced you to dine with the folks at Pane e Vino Ristorante. Not only am I certain that you will have a fabulous meal, but you will also likely find new friends with these incredibly friendly folks. And who wouldn’t want to have friends that can put together this type of Italian feast.
Disclosure: this fabulous dining experience was provided by Pane e Vino Ristorante.