Sun-Thu, 11am-11pm; Sat-Sun, 11am-midnight
F, G at Bergen St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Atlantic Ave. to Union St., Fourth Ave. to Hicks St.
In a neighborhood packed with Italian options, from old-school Italian-American restaurants to contemporary pan-Italian boîtes, Pane e Vino doesn't impress. On Smith Street's fiercely competitive restaurant row, it takes more than a large enclosed garden and an authentic-sounding Italian name to stand out. The menu falls into the boîte category: bruschetta on pressed bread, composed and green salads, pastas, grilled and sautéed meat and fish, and, of course, the Holy Trinity of prosciutto, polenta, and mozzarella. Fine in concept, the menu's realization poses a problem. Ingredients sometimes lack bite and that hand-packed fresh quality, and simple fish preparations fall flat. Pastas, the one bright light, are expertly doneóintelligently sauced, with a good variety of options. The interior of the space is weirdly flashy, with mix-and-match furnishings and plastered walls that are painted in ultra-saturated colors and dotted periodically with lit alcoves filled with wine bottles. The trattoria-meets-carnivale aesthetic doesn't quite work, but if you're here for a plate of pasta, it suffices.Live Music
Tango, Thu., 8:30 p.m.; Cuban salsa, Sat., 9:00 p.m.; Jazz, Sun., 7 p.m.
Monthly wine tastings in the fall.
Parma bruschetti, $5