Italian on the Beach
BUSAN, South Korea — Pasta e Vino in Gwangali serves tasty Italian food. Since their opening late last November, the folks there have been satisfying a steady stream of customers. Open for lunch and dinner, it is an ideal venue for those in a coupling state of mind or those just looking for a solid plate of Italian goodness.
Why open an Italian restaurant in Gwangali? “Nowadays in Korea, healthy food is a food trend. We decided to go with a more organic product and chose to open a place that uses eco-friendly ingredients,” said owner San Chan Ha.
Situated right in the middle of Gwanganli Beach, they hold a prime real estate position on the first floor of the Daewoo I’Ville building. The unit previously contained a non-chain coffee shop, but has since tossed the roasting beans and sweet potato sandwiches, and now emits flavorful scents of wheat, garlic, and simmering tomato sauce.
One of the first things that strikes diners upon entering Pasta e Vino is the smell of baked bread. Soon enough, a server will bring you a basket of three different kinds of warm rolls. While fresh, hot bread do not a good restaurant make, places that serve them are few and far between. Freshly baked bread of any sort in this city by the sea is worth mentioning.
When it comes to the food, Pasta e Vino offers it all, from salad and pizza to pasta and steaks. Aside from the steaks, most every food item on the menu runs in price from W15,000 to W20,000. It can seem a little pricey compared to more popular places, but the atmosphere of the dining room, combined with the high quality food, make it more than worth the price.
When it comes to offering unique items on their menu, Pasta e Vino is a step ahead. Sure, an insalata caprese is becoming easier to find in Busan, but how about a polenta salad with roasted pumpkin? Any place that calls itself an Italian restaurant and actually serves something as Italian as polenta deserves the benefit of the doubt.
This is Busan, so many of the pasta dishes feature seafood, as well as one of the risotto offerings. They put a special twist on the ever-popular spaghetti bolognese by preparing their bocconcini with small chunks of beef instead of ground meat. Vegetarians should take note that the pasta is cooked in chicken, vegetable, or oyster stock, depending on the dish. Owner San Chan Ha said the kitchen “happily accommodates vegetarians when they make a special request when ordering.” They offer plenty of delicious meatless pizzas, too.
Many people consider an Italian meal not complete without wine or beer. Pasta e Vino covers those bases with a sizeable wine list, nearly a dozen bottled beers, and Heineken on draft. As the weather gets warmer and the twilight grows longer, a table on Pasta e Vino’s patio is a great place to combine a bottle of wine, good company, and delicious food.
Pasta e Vino is located right on Gwangan beach next to the Homers Hotel. Reservations are not necessary on weekdays, except for large groups. They do accept reservations during weekends and holidays. For more information call 051.756.2400