Sunday, September 12, 2010

Carb coma inducing Italian with a chilli kicker!

There is nothing as comforting and satisfying as Italian food.  For me there are only 2 really good and reasonably priced Italian restaurants in Brisbane and Pane e Vino is one of them (Verve is the other!).

Pane Vino ( has been around for yonks and is on the corner of Charlotte and Albert Streets.  It offers both indoor and Al Fresco dining and has a great bustling atmosphere pretty much day and night.

I've been going to this restaurant for lunch and dinner for many years and it never fails to please.  You will not find earth shatteringly fancy or adventurous food here.  What you will get is straight forward, unpretentious and delicious Italian fare at fairly reasonable prices.  Not to mention it is BYO and licensed!

For me, casual Italian food is all about garlic, olive oil and massive portion sizes - all of which you get loads of here.  When I leave an Italian restaurant, I want to have bad garlic breath and a stomach the size of a bowling ball.  At Pane e Vinos usually I will have slipped into a carb coma before they've brought out the bill!

My recent visit to Pane e Vino was with a group of girls from work after we'd guzzled a little too much champagne at work drinks and needed some serious carbs to soak it all up.  I chose Rigatoni Con Salsiccia which translates as pork & fennel sausage with fresh tomato, parsley, olive oil and chilli.

It was seriously good.  There was al dente pasta that had just enough resistance when you bit into it.  There was pork sausage, released from its casing and dotted with fennel seeds giving that tasty anise kicker to the dish.  There was the obligatory olive oil and garlic, and my special Italian friend who I always like to invite: chilli.  I really love to taste all that savoury, meaty, heartiness and then have the zing of the chilli tingle on your lips and tongue for a few minutes after which is why I've never been a fan of carbonara. 

My neighbour had Spaghetti con Fruitti di Mare (prawns, scallops, mussels, & calamari tossed in a garlic & tomato sugo):

Can't tell you what it tasted like but from her account it was a winner too.

Finally, another fabulous thing about this place is the fact that they SPLIT THE BILL WITHOUT COMPLAINING!  Yes people, put this place on your hitlist, it's great.

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