PANEVINO Kicks Off Bad Italian Food Review

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Yes, it’s Friday food fans, and time for ELV’s Bad Italian Food Review. From this week forward, as a regular feature, ELV intends to single out the bad Italian food that infests our valley, every Friday on this website, right before he goes to Mass at his favorite worshiping place: Our Holy Mother of Perpetual Pasta Humiliation Church.

This week we feature Panevino, a restaurant that ELV savaged on KNPR many years ago (after five disastrous meals), and which he had avoided like the plague ever since. Today’s meal confirms why this decision was a good one.

Panevino takes itself very seriously as an Italian restaurant — everywhere but the kitchen. Prices are high ($102 for lunch for two with no booze), and the food is stunningly bad — from the puffy, Wonder-like tomato bread, to the bland (and monochromatic) Andreas salad to spicy tomato sauce with no spice to old, off mussels to an orcchiette pasta “special” in a cheese sauce containing no cheese, it is a restaurant that is an embarrassment to its mother country and the great cuisine that sprung from there.

It is supposedly owned by Italians, but like ELV always reminds people: Just because someone comes from a country (or has relatives who did) doesn’t mean they know the first thing about the food from there. What they usually know is what their mother made them — which may or may not have been well-conceived and cooked. One of our favorite anecdotes from Sirio Maccioni’s biography — Sirio – The Story of My Life and Le Cirque — is Sirio recalling Frank Sinatra constantly pestering him (and offering to teach him) to cook “real” Italian food — the kind of red sauce-drenched dreck that has led us to the proliferation of the Panevino’s of the world.

If cheese sauces with no cheese are your thing, and you like off mussels, barely flavored salads and sponge bread. Knock yourself out.

The rest of you have been warned.


246 Via Antonia Ave.

Las Vegas NV 89119


12 thoughts on “PANEVINO Kicks Off Bad Italian Food Review

  1. When you’ve had enough of our bad Italian restaurants give these two a try.

    Siena Italian Bakery & Deli — 2250 E Trop
    Roma Deli & Restaurant — 5755 Spring Mountain


    P.S. You meant: “what their mother made them…”

  2. I usually only go to Bartolotta now, with the occasional visit to B&B or CarneVino when I get the steak hankering. However, what I really wonder about with Panevino is how could such a great restaurant person like Vincenzo ( who used to GM Le Cirque) get mixed up with such a place. That guy was the best at Le Cirque and it pains me to see him here.

  3. Re Siena Deli, I went there the other day – or, I tried. It was gone! Anybody know if they moved elsewhere? But my fav Italian deli is Rocco’s on Buffalo & Charleston. Try their homemade fresh mozzarella.

  4. I bought some french roll at siena deli the other day and it was crusty wonder bread.
    I could be wrong but i think I tasted bleached white in there.

  5. Love this review. ELV assumes there is that many bad Italian restaurants in town beforehand. He’s probably right.

  6. Nice….I look forward to your keen insight into the many BAD “Italian” restaurants here in Vegas…plus I like it when you sling dirt

  7. Shame Shame ELV

    With great power (which you now command) comes great responsability.

    Is making this column a “regular feature” really necessary? A lot of Mom and Pop places are struggling to survive. Do you really have nothing better to do with your fame and fortune than to go out looking to ruin someone’s little business.

    You can do better ELV.

  8. Have to completely disagree with the review…while it might not be like your corner family owned Italian Restaurant or a modern epicurean wonder. It certainly is consistently tasty and worth your business.

    I have been to B&B and Bartolotta on several occasions and while they may win on style points B&B certainly does not win on taste and Bartolotta, while good, does not have the warm atmosphere or neighborhood feel you get from a nice restaurant like Panevino.

    I think that the reviewer had an off night or maybe just does not like Panevino, but if you try the Pollo Bracia or the Risotto I promise you will not be disappointed next time.

  9. I agree with diehardreb, I have had many meals at Panevino and have always had a good meal. I especially like the funghi risotto, which they make on request.

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