Vol. V No. 31 - Saturday July 29, - August 4, 2006
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DINING OUT - ENTERTAINMENT

Ristorante Italiano Pizzeria Da Roberto

By Elle Faraday

I was out with a small group of friends the other evening and after enjoying a couple of glasses of wine we decided to look for an Italian restaurant that none of us had tried before and I think we have unearthed a bit of a gem!
Roberto’s is situated on Rachamanka Soi 2, tucked away just off Moon Muang behind a collection of bars which include Cozy and the Laughing Leprechaun. There is both indoor and outdoor seating and the location on the quiet Soi makes for pleasant al fresco dining away from the bustling traffic charging around the moat.

As we arrived, we were warmly welcomed by Roberto and his charming wife Lai. Such was the warmth of their welcome that I decided I would I would combine work with pleasure and make Roberto’s the subject of this weeks review. Roberto’s menu is packed with everyone’s traditional Italian favourites, mouthwatering pasta dishes and tempting pizza combinations. There were so many wonderful dishes to choose from that I was glad I was in the company of four fellow diners to help me savor at least some of the range.

After ordering, Lai bought us some wonderfully fresh Italian bread laid out on an attractive wooden board which she set in the middle of the table. Our ever smiling host also bought a couple of carafes of the pleasantly quaffable house wine which at 180 baht for a half litre was excellent value for money. We stuck with the house selection throughout the evening even though there was a good range of very reasonable priced Italian red and white. The highest priced offering was a quality Valpolicella or Pinot Bianco Sauvignon at 950 baht - an absolute steal in a Chiang Mai restaurant!
Our glasses were charged and the table was alive with amiable chatter when the food arrived. Every dish was wonderfully presented and a feast for the eyes. We all tucked in with great gusto.
I first tried the Cannelloni Vegetariani which at first bite was an absolute winner. It was a perfect blend of wonderfully fresh pasta with a divine spinach and cheese filling which I could have eaten until the last speck of sauce had disappeared. However one of my compatriots was after the cannelloni and I moved onto the Penne al Pomodoro. This dish was simply fresh pasta in a tomato sauce, but as any chef will tell you, simple food when made with fresh local ingredients can be sensational. You could taste the freshness in the tomato sauce and it was finished with just the right amount of basil to give that wonderful fresh herb taste.
I moved onto to the Fettuccine al Salmone, ribbons of fresh pasta in a deliciously creamy salmon sauce perfectly seasoned and complemented by the generous side portion of parmesan cheese.
The remaining pasta dish was the homemade lasagna in a special Italian beef sauce which one of my friends declared the finest lasagna he had eaten outside Italy – high praise indeed!
Only one of my fellow diners opted to select off the pizza menu and selected a pepperoni pizza. At just 110 baht, it was very generously sized with liberal toppings of spicy sausage, wonderfully stringy mozzarella cheese and a perfect crisp base.
After sharing five lavish meals, we were all fit to burst but the dessert menu was just too tempting to ignore. We took the pudding out onto the terrace and on a lovely cool evening shared a heavenly tiramisu, delicious profiteroles with cream and a rich dark chocolate sauce and a range of traditional Italian ice creams.
Roberto’s Ristorante and Italiano Pizzeria serves a wide range of fresh pasta dishes and pizza ranging from 90-140 baht. They also serve other Italian favorites such as meatballs, chicken, chops and salads. A range of desserts and a full wine and drinks list is available.
For more details or to make a reservation call 09-757-6618.



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