Buonissimo – Italian Restaurant

Delicatessen & Wine Shop

Article and photos
by Phillip Johnson

So you’ve been searching for an Italian restaurant that will remind you of the delicious cuisine you experienced on your last visit to Europe. Or maybe the trip you planned on taking to Rome this year just isn’t going to happen. Not to worry; we’ve found a restaurant that will satisfy your palate and bring all the aroma of Roma right to your doorstep.

Having dined at Buonissimo on several occasions, and at different times of the day and night, we’ve found the food and service to be of excellent quality each time we visit this ‘little Italy’. Sergio, the proprietor, seems to always be on location assisting his staff and assuring that all diners are getting the very best service.
Let’s take a look at what your dining experience may entail. Upon entering through the glass doors you will be greeted by one of Sergio’s eighteen staff members and soft, relaxing Italian or classical music reminiscent of your previous Roman holiday. You immediately notice the carefully placed table settings placed atop soft pink linen accompanied by large, delicately folded cloth napkins. Of course your attention might also be captured by the largest wine cellar in Chiangmai boasting a ‘who’s who’ connoisseur’s list of fine wines.

With room to accommodate 90 diners, you have the choice of dining downstairs or upstairs. I’ve enjoyed meals on both levels, and each dining area presents its own special ambiance. Small and large group dinner parties can be arranged by reservation. If your party consists of 12 or more guests, Sergio suggests making reservations. The pleasantly decorated banquet room will accommodate up to 55 guests. Or, if you just want to enjoy your evening with that special someone and have a quiet, romantic meal, that can also be arranged. Seating is also available outside in the romantic garden. (By the way, the menu is printed in Thai and English, and the prices on the menu are quite excellent.)
Enough about the infrastructure and the alluring physical qualities of Buonissimo. Let’s take a look at that exquisite Italian cuisine which we waited all morning to experience once again. The menu consists of over 100 delectable entr้es, imported cheeses and salami, beef imported from Argentina, freshly baked breads (six different varieties) and crackers, a large selection of soft drinks, imported beers and liquors, and of course, that wonderful selection of delightful wines for the sophisticated palate. You may choose any wine from the cellar with a 10% service charge added to the shop price. (My suggestion is that you take a few minutes to visit the cellar to select a vintage that will go best with your meal.) If you find yourself overwhelmed by the many choices, either Sergio or one of his assistants will be glad to accommodate you in your selection. Should you choose to bring your own wine, the corkage charge will be 150 baht. You have your choice of imported coffee, including expresso, cappuccino, and Arabica. Tea can be served either iced or hot. The dessert list consists of fruit dishes, including mille foglie, fruit tiramisu, sorbetto cocktail, homemade iced cream (thirteen different flavors) and also homemade pastries.
My choice of entrees for this lunch meal was #50 on the menu, the lasagne classiche with beef sauce and besciamele, while my lunch partner chose item #28, frutti di mare, seafood with tomato sauce. We both indulged in our passions, pasta with lots of cheese and fresh seafood. We asked Sergio to surprise us with a chardonnay of his choosing. He made an excellent choice (we think he made a quick run to Italy to get the wine just for us). For dessert, we decided to partake in the homemade iced cream. I chose the nocciola (hazelnuts) and my partner’s favorite dish was the cocco (coconuts).
For those diners who choose to have an after dinner cigar, you are invited to visit the humidor and choose from a wide selection of imported brands, then you may relax on the patio with your preference. You may ask for assistance to choose a cigar suitable to your individual taste.
Whenever a restaurant dishes out (pun intended) the kind of food and service as does Buonissimo, I will find myself going back again and again sharing dining adventures with those friends who appreciate deliciously prepared foods and exceptional wines.
You’re going to find much more than just ‘a little taste of Italy’ at Buonissimo, located on Chiang Mai-Phrao Rd between Super Highway and Second Ring Road. Telephone: 053-853098-9. Email: [email protected] buonissimo.co.th. Buonissimo is open seven days a week from 11:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. I’ll see you in Rome.