It was a shame to see that one of Kentish Town’s longest-running restaurants shut its doors last night. “The premises had become too expensive for me,” says chef-patron Stefania Berdini, who had been threatening to sell up for several years.
Stefania was born in Rome, and her Sardinian cooking was inspired by a long life in Terralba on the west coast of the island. That gave her the experience to open Pane Vino nearly 20 years ago on what was then an unassuming parade just across the road from the tube station. It proved a smart move, and quickly won acclaim from both UK food guides and the likes of Locatelli and Giles Coren.
Admittedly, many readers reported mixed experiences over the years, particularly with service issues; but you couldn’t fault menu items like the antipasti served on pane carasau, home-made ravioli with porcini, or the signature dish, linguine with bottarga. And of course the famous pizzas flew out its doors.
In the end, the competition posed by Pizza East, Delicious, Rossella and more recent arrivals like Wahaca and Joe’s Southern Kitchen took its toll.
“The good news is I’m already looking for alternative premises to pop up again with Pane Vino, the restaurant and the cinema club,” says Stefania. “I will do all in my power to come back with more food, films, music and friendship. But I may take a little holiday first.”
We’ll keep you posted.