Homestyle, satisfying Italian served alfresco on a cozy Silom rooftop terrace
Vicolo 4 opened in 2008…however, unless you know Silom Soi 4 well, it’s not really the kind of place one stumbles upon. It’s tucked away on the second floor over top of a bar with very little signage. But it is so consistent in its presentation of homestyle Italian that Bangkok insiders often hear about it by word of mouth. When I was growing up in the southern part of the US…this was most often a formula for success. A hole in the wall tiny place, that regulars love. Nothing pretentious or flashy…but just delicious homemade dishes and friendly service that keep people coming back again and again. In fact when we are in Bangkok, we always make a point to stop by and here’s why you should too.
These guys have been at it for a while, even though this location is new. Formerly in a Bangkok apartment building, their restaurant was the kind of place friends stopped by for a meal and then ended up hanging around until the wee hours drinking wine and listening to the owners play guitar and sing songs. Today, at their Silom Soi 4 location you might have a chat with Lippo and his new baby or the chef Armando. We usually look at the menu but also ask what is fresh today and what they recommend – they will tell you that the ravioli turned out perfectly today and you should really try those or that they have some special imported Italian cheese that they have been able to lay their hands on for the pizzas.
When we visit, Paul and I usually like to order a pizza and a pasta dish to share. These are their two specialties… homemade breads / pizza crusts and homemade pastas. On our last visit we had the Pizza Arrabiatta with Spicy Salami and the homemade Tortellini of the day – stuffed with mortadella, parma ham and a little beef, topped either with mushrooms and an Alfredo cream sauce or a Bolognese sauce.
As usual, everything was spot on. The tortellini, despite their small size, were bursting with the flavor and just so tender and fresh that they nearly melted in the mouth. The thin crust pizza was appropriately both crispy and juicy and the arrabiata sauce packed a punch without being overwhelming. Combined with a bottle of wine, the night breeze on the terrace, some friends and good conversation, it’s hard to imagine a more relaxed and satisfying evening.
Also worth mentioning is that despite the small size of the restaurant, they have a surprisingly well rounded wine list of Italian wines…starting at 1300 THB per bottle and containing some sophisticated options like Barolos and Amarones.
When you go to Vicolo 4, it has the feeling of being a bit like a secret only a few people know. I am torn between spreading the word and keeping it to myself 😉 But in the end, where there is good food and good people, we will let you know.
Vicolo 4 (formerly Quattro Formaggi)
Silom Soi 4 in Bangkok
(just next to Tapas nightclub on the left hand side of Soi 4, enter via BarBar and go to the 2nd floor, look for the sign that says “Italian Restaurant”)