Lola A. Åkerström profiles Pane Vino, an Italian restaurant in Stockholm, and its outdoor ambiance
Nature and access to greenery is so important to Stockholmers that we tend to bring nature indoors if the weather isn’t conducive enough to be milling around outside. And so you’ll find a lot of restaurants around town with covered outdoor setting areas where you can still sit outdoors to soak up any available sunlight amidst green plants and flowers while still being protected from the elements.
Mix that with the Swedes’ penchant for Italian cuisine and finding an Italian restaurant in Stockholm that offers both is a jackpot of sorts.
A street crossing away from Zinkensdamms train station is the atmospheric restaurant Pane Vino where I met up with my friend, fellow travel writer, Sandra Carpenter for lunch. Walking into its piazzan felt like walking into my very own greenhouse complete with white-coated tables, light green wooden chairs, and green vines growing and twisting up along its glass walls.
Blackboards and wall displays scribbled with classic Italian pasta dishes and pizzas, wine glasses hanging from its roof atop a bar where you can also get beer on draft or tuck into fikabröd – baked pasteries – while sipping on strong espresso or cappucino…even though I was visiting in winter, memories of and a longing for Stockholm in the summer filled me up. My stress level instantly dropped a few notches.
Every month, in addition to its full a la carte menu, the restaurant serves a special tasting menu based on a key ingredient. For example, a monthly selection of “lamb” comes with lamb carpaccio served with spinach marscapone, fettucine with lamb ragu, and lamb racks served with polenta and feta cheese rolls. A selection of “duck” could be pizza with duck lever, truffle-filled duck breasts served with wilted spinach and pomegranate, and honey glazed duck served with risotto balls.
Their lunch menu is broken down into three offers – you can either order just the main meal, order a 2-item meal which could be an appetizer or dessert plus the main meal, or do a full 3-course lunch. I started off my lunch by sipping warm creamy potato soup from a mug.
Followed by the insalatina primavera which is an antipasti dish of fresh buffalo mozarella, artichokes, sundried tomatoes, taggiasca olives, basil, and dizzled with olive oil and black pepper.
I ordered the 12-hour braised lamb shank served with a vibrant and fragrant saffronrisotto alongside baby vegetables, scallions, and onions, while Sandra had the gnocchi below with parmesan cheese and broccoli dish.
The menu options were definitely rustic Italian fare with sourdough bread and fresh olive oil with pepper and salt for dipping. On its large screen TV, Pane Vino also shows football games from the Champions League, Premier League, and A Series in the piazzan. The restaurant’s main restaurant and bistro is a much more formal affair with a wine cellar filled with regional Italian wines and white table-cloth covered tables but if you can nab a spot in the laid back piazzan, that should be your choice.