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