Cafe Gia's Gia Blattermann Gets Serious About Cocktails at Pane e Vino

With spring and summer comes new growth, and Baltimore’s restaurant and bar scene followed suit. Pane e Vino, Little Italy’s newest addition, was among our favorites of the recently opened bars and restaurants.

Tucked away on High Street, Pane e Vino is adjacent to well-known Cafe Gia, owned by Gia Blattermann-Fracassetti. In collaboration with brother Steven Blattermann and husband Gianfranco Fracassetti (chef at Cafe Gia), she has opened this newest spot featuring small plates and craft cocktails.

Cozy and quietly elegant, the chic urban bar is equally perfect for an after work happy hour as it is for date night. The rotating menu features charcuterie and cheeses, pasta and focaccia, and meat and seafood small plates. A generously sized buffalo and ricotta meatball stacked on crusty grilled bread and covered in a hearty tastes-like-mom-made-it marinara is enough to slay any after-work hangriness. The same can be said for the piadina - an Italian take on the quesadilla that replaces tortillas with flatbread filled with stracciatella, arugula, tomato, and tender steak with a surprising kick from the addition of spicy harissa. The colorfully plated sous vide calamari tossed with broccoli rabe and tomatoes is an artful demonstration of the kitchen’s finesse with delicate ingredients.

The bar program is just as sophisticated as the cuisine, but that doesn’t mean it’s not approachable. With cocktails around town easily reaching $12-$15, most of Pane e Vino’s libations weigh in at a more reasonable $10. A cocktail with a bit of a kick, the Spicy Sicilian is one of our favorites. The well-balanced beverage combines Crater Lake Pepper Vodka, limoncello, kumquat syrup, and fresh lemon.

Redheads Have More Fun, a blend of Jose Cuervo, fresh blood orange, fresh lime, and ginger beer is served over ice and is as easy on the eyes as it is on the palate. Perfect for summer, the light and citrusy Charm City Girl is a blend of locally distilled Sloop Betty Vodka, fresh grapefruit, ginger syrup, and club soda, also served over ice.

Gia has also made a dedicated effort to offer an array of wine and beer choices, many Italian, with options like Birrificio Bruton’s Bianca (witbier) and Lilith (APA) beers most recently added to the menu.

Both food and cocktails change regularly - to stay in the know, you can connect with Pane e Vino on Facebook here.

Pane e Vino, 408 S High St.; 410-685-3300

Photo via Pane e Vino


Tags: Cocktails, Food
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