When we found Pane E Vino, we didn’t know it would be one of the best restaurants in Melbourne. In fact, it is one of the best restaurants we have encountered. Certainly it is the best Italian cuisine we have come across in our travels.
It all started when we were looking for someplace new to dine. Those who follow us know we like to ask the locals for suggestions. In this case, the young lady at the front desk of the LaQuinta suggested we try Hemingway’s. It sounded like a nice place, so we put the address in our GPS system and headed out.
We arrived at a small strip mall called the Meridian Center, only to find Hemingway’s was closed. However, at the other end of the plaza was this little spot flying American and Italian flags. We parked the car under one of the large sprawling oaks and headed in to take a look.
There we found Pane E Vino and decided to try it.
More Than a Restaurant
We were greeted at the door and ushered in by our waitress Rachel. There’s a subtle elegance in this place. It was minimalist but with attention to detail. As we sat at our dark wood table, we noticed the shelves and racks chocked full of ingredients of all kinds.
In addition to the jars and boxes, we noted the large glass-front cooler cases full of all manner of meats, cheeses and baked goods.
Checking the menu, we found this little place has a wide variety of selections. There are pizzas, cold subs and the like but we were more interested in the entrees. My wife picked the Penne Al Pomodoro. It featured a couple of styles of pasta sauteed in fresh onion, garlic, basil and peeled plum tomatoes.
I, on the other hand, was having a hard time deciding between the Manicotti, Stuffed Shells or the Ravioli. Much to my surprise, they offered a combination platter that had all that plus a piece of Lasagna to boot. There was no question – that would be was my choice.
I must tell you, each of the offerings was melt-in-your mouth delicious. Moreover, it has encouraged me to return and try each one as an entree unto itself.
Our meal was bookended with a pair of treats. We started with some warm, sliced bread. Both the bread and the butter it was paired with made a beautiful start to our dinner.
We ended our meal with one of the largest pieces of tiramisu I have ever seen. It came with two forks and we shared the sweet end to our meal in a most romantic fashion.
The experience well qualifies this place to be one of the best restaurants in Melbourne – and possibly in the state.
And there was a lot more sweetness than our dessert. While Pane E Vino had one case each of Italian cheeses and meats, they featured two cases of baked goods. It would be worth the trip just to get a sampler plate of some of those offerings.
We’ll Be Back
As I said earlier, I would like to return and have an order of just one of the items on my sampler plate as my entree. That being said, we saw other menu items that were just as alluring. I had big eyes for the Eggplant Parmigiana or the Eggplant Florentine. Additionally, I heard both the Penne Primavera and the Cavatellipane E Vino calling my name.
The Best Part
One of the most satisfying parts of our visits came at the end. You see, our webmaster is Italian, so I sent him a short video and asked him if there was anything he wanted. His lone request was the hard-to-find Ricotta Salata cheese.
They had it and we were able to bring him some back.
When you get down to it, in our estimation Pane E Vino truly is one of the best restaurants in Melbourne. Be certain to put it on your list when visiting the Space Coast.