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Don’t miss this Italian gem in Silom

On recent visit back to Bangkok, we decided to visit a favorite of many expats, Vino di Zanotti. Located in the junction of Sathorn and Silom, Vino di Zanotti serves up a more casual bistro-style experience than its more formal sister Zanotti right across the street.  Whenever you crave authentic and carefully prepared cucina Italiana “Vino”, as it is known by Bangkokians, is a great choice.

At first when I moved to Bangkok, I was surprised there were so many good Italian restaurants – Guisto, L’Opera, Fuzio, Sirocco, Spasso, Limoncello…I mean why is there such good quality Italian in Asia? Until someone explained it to me quite simply….duh, it is just another form of noodle! And besides eating is practically a sport in SE Asia, so good quality food from all regions of the world is revered.

While Zanotti is more of a stuffy, special occasion (or when on expense account) kind of place, Vino is quite lively partly due to the live jazz band that plays each night till midnight. Serving the same caliber of food out of the same kitchen as Zanotti, the dishes are truly of the highest quality and (almost) never fail to please. Also, they share the same seemingly endless wine list of 2300 selections…mostly Italian, of course.

In our last meal at Vino we ventured off the pasta section menu and tried a couple of fish and beef dishes. Gretchen ordered the Pescato del Giorno al Forno con Potato (fish of the day baked with potatoes, capers and fresh tomato slices) at 350THB / $14.70 SGD / $10 USD. This was probably our favorite fish dish – the presentation was simple and rustic, yet still elegant and the flavor was spot on.

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Paul had the Pesce Spada alla Favignana (swordfish prepared Favignana-style with pine nuts, parsley, olives and cherry tomatoes) at 510THB / $21.40 SGD / $14.80 USD. Paul is a sucker for pine nuts…sometimes I think he orders dishes simply for the pine nuts

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Actually this dish was not quite we expected…the fish had been flaked and was served in a thin layer than had been baked with a breadcrumb topping. It actually was delicious, but I think they could do a better job preparing the diner for what he / she will receive – many folks may have been disappointed not to receive a swordfish steak.

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I opted for the Filetto di Manzo ( a fillet of beef with rock salt and rosemary) at 590THB / $24.80 SGD / $17.20 USD. This was pure perfection. I often think the best was to judge a restaurant is a perfectly grilled piece of meat or a simple soup…this can really show the caliber of the chef and the kitchen more so than seemingly complex layers of food under sauces. I would go back just to have this dish again.

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We were however rather disappointed with the desserts. Paul and I chose simple classics – Torta di Mela con Gelato (apple and cinnamon tart with ice cream) at 180 THB / $7.60 SGD / $5.40 USD and Panacotta traditional Torino (panacotta with caramel sauce) at 190 THB / $8 SGD / $6.40 USD. The apple tart tasted store bought – and I mean grocery store, not bakery. While the panacotta had the right texture, it lacked the rich flavor one would expect…and sadly the caramel sauce also tasted store bought, like something out of a bottle.

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Given the overall quality of the main courses, we decided we could forgive them this error. Just don’t make the same mistake we did. If you want a 2-course meal, it would be advisable to go with an appetizer and skip dessert.

VINO di Zanotti
41 Soi Yommarat, Saladaeng Road, Silom
Bangkok, Thailand 10110
Tel +66 2 636-3811
Fax +66 2 636-3366

(top picture from the Zanotti group, the server wouldn’t let me take pictures of the place only the food)

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