This enoteca (wine library) is cut from a traditional cloth.
The buzz: Since 2004, Enoteca has been among the top of Bangkok’s Italian restaurant pile for all the right reasons: delicate plates of food bursting with traditional Italian flavors, comfortably rustic dining room, huge wine list and personable service.
The decor: Salamis and cold cuts sit alongside big, well hacked-intro wheels of cheese. Dried chilis and garlic drip from the rafters. Bottles of red wine line the walls, tucked between brick pillars and Tuscany-referencing ceiling arches. It’s all quite charming, and a fitting food-comes-first representation of the dishes themselves. Diners—Thais, the local Italian community—start filing in from about 7:30pm, and the later it gets the nicer the buzz is in the dining room. Granted, it’s not short on Italian cliches, but it has heart, made more appealing thanks to the second-generation owner, Nicola Bonazza, being on hand to welcome guests.
The food: The chef, Marco Pacetta, counts time in the kitchens of Guy Savoy’s Parisian bistro, Lucas Carton’s eponymous fine-dining restaurant (during its two-star days), and Gordon Ramsay in London. An a la carte menu which reads of rich Italian classics like handmade fettucine with ricotta, sausage and black truffle, and Milanese-style deep-fried veal belies a contemporary touch that does not interfere with flavor. We recommend the degustation menus (either classic or “surprise”), which at B1,650++ for four courses, B1,950++ for five course, and B2,900++ for seven courses, are a well-pitched showcase of the chef’s talents. They also don’t scrimp on the premium stuff—pigeon breast and foie gras wrapped in puff pastry, truffle-flecked pastas, plump and amply portioned fillets of line-caught turbot—while off-menu touches like black truffle ice cream with parmesan crisps and in-between course palate cleansers like Aperol sorbet with prosecco foam lend dinner here a genuine sense of occasion. Dishes like the pigeon liver pate (B540++, a la carte) and black ink “cappuccino” (a mixture of black ink sauce, creamed potato and parmesan cribbed from the three Michelin-star Le Calandre in Northern Italy, B590++) are not to be missed.
The drink: The huge wine menu goes big on Borolo, with many of the bottles exclusive to Enoteca. The uncompromisingly Italian wines by the glass range from B350-780++ for the reds and B360-450++ for whites. The sauvignon blanc 2013 Doc. Livio Felluga (B450++) comes highly recommended.