by Eric Ginsburg
Reynolda Village has always perplexed me. But rather than reacting with fear or avoidance, I welcomed the unfamiliarity and was rewarded accordingly.
I first encountered the enclave, a somewhat sizable outpost for quaint suburbanism, while slowly weaving the adjacent roads as I delivered our papers to Reynolda House. The only places like it that I can remember seeing are developments in quiet New England suburbs and State Street, another anomaly in Greensboro.
“Village” is an appropriate name for the collection of shops, arranged in a way that encourages walking and looks far more appealing than the strip malls that blight the Triad. Running a little late for lunch recently and scouring for options, I gently rolled between clusters of buildings until I stumbled on Pane e Vino.
Several other late lunchers were of the same mind, and what must have been parents visiting their preppy Wake Forest sons filled the two tables nearest me. One father discussed a friend’s wine cellar, and several customers wore Polos and dress shoes.
Diners at a few tables, both inside and along the stretch of patio out front, took advantage of the six different salads on the menu. But when eating somewhere that advertises itself as serving “the only homemade pasta in town,” it’s hard to justify ordering anything else first.
Only a few choices were listed — no match for the sandwich menu with 12 different items — but no matter, because the fettuccini al pesto could seal the deal alone.
The pasta at Pane e Vino is made daily, down the road at the affiliated Dioli’s Italian Market, and it is remarkable.
It’s easy to tell just by looking at the dish that the pasta noodles are homemade, each one mildly crinkled or wavy rather than bearing the mass-produced appearance of more common pasta. The freshness of the noodles, which were cooked al dente, was undeniable, aided by a delicious basil pesto, a dash of olive oil and a sprinkling of parmesan.
Two small pieces of bread on the side and halved grape tomatoes stirred in added little to the dish, possibly even distracting from the headlining act, but still provided some variety and color to the entrée.
A handful of other menu items sounded intriguing, including a salmon burger served on a challah bun with sriracha aioli, arugula and tomato, but none more than a prosciutto apple panini with havarti cheese. To get a better sense of the restaurant as a whole I ordered one to go, knowing my schedule lacked adequate time for dinner that evening, and the fabulous smell quickly filled up my car.
When I opened the to-go bin, which also included a house salad as my choice of accompanying side, I immediately realized there had to have been a mistake.
What was unmistakably turkey stuck out from the edges of the sandwich, and as I opened it and peeled back the layers, the green apples were absent too. I double-checked my receipt, which confirms the order went in correctly, and I realized I must have been given “Dioli’s Famous Turkey Sandwich.”
I’m not one to let other people order for me, but fortunately turkey is my go-to sandwich meat. As I ate the pressed sandwich, with a nice crispiness to the bread, I realized why Pane e Vino is proud of it and my disappointment subsided.
I’d still like to know what the prosciutto and apple panini tastes like, and though the turkey sandwich with caramelized onions and arugula tasted great, the fettuccini was the star of the show, hands-down.
Visit Pane e Vino at 122 Reynolda Village, Winston-Salem. Call 336.724.9779 or visit diolis.com.