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This authentic family-run Italian restaurant is tucked away in the heart of Port Elizabeth’s bustling Baakens Valley precinct. This popular little piece of Italy boasts one of the most beautiful restaurant interiors the city has to offer, with white subway tiles, a copper pizza oven, a gallery wall, and a pattern tiled floor that is simply made for Instagram. If you’re a little hasty, you may want to arrive before the supper rush at this generally very busy eatery. Remo’s has just opened its Italian deli section, stocked with a wide range of Italian meats, cheeses, condiments and pasta. Plus there’s their famous Mia Zia whole peeled tomato tins (the distinct flavor can be found in most dishes served in the restaurant).
The huge pizzas are made by hand with imported Italian flour and the family’s famous tomato recipe. Remo’s is one of the few restaurants that produces authentic Italian cuisine; their pizza is different to any other in town.
For starters there’s a handpicked selection of antipasti, cheeses and meats to taste. Try the Emmenthal cheese with fruity and nut flavors and the medium grain salame rustico served with freshly baked ciabatta bread.
The pizzas and pastas are the standout items on the carefully designed menu. You can measure a great Italian restaurant by its margherita pizza – if these basic ingredients are just right, nothing more is needed. At Remo’s, the margherita pizza ticks all the boxes. The thin-crust base is nice and crisp, while the tomato base has the perfect tang and the mozzarella isn’t too overpowering. The smoky flavor of the pizza crust from the wood-burning oven is evident and completes this very simple pizza.
The pastas are also a great go-to dish – a great value-for-money item. The lasagna al forno is a classic beef Bolognese rendition; layered with a creamy béchamel sauce, ground beef, tangy Mamma’s tomato sauce and thin sheets of pasta. Another interesting pasta on the menu is the penne alla vodka – this dish combines perfectly al dente penne pasta with crispy bacon, fresh cream, sweet onions, vodka and grana padano cheese. The vodka is evident in the dish and adds a really interesting and delicious flavor to this version of a classic Italian dish.
Other main meals include the beef fillet with wood-fired vegetables and zucchini fries, gourmet burgers, and baked aubergines with mozzarella and grana padano cheese. There are also many hearty and healthy breakfast items available for the morning sittings.
For dessert, there’s freshly baked chocolate cake, carrot cake and tiramisu. It’s best to ask the waitron for the day’s cake treats.
There’s a select list of premium white, rose and red wines available. Beers, cocktails and ciders are also on the list, with a special mention of the 100% Italian craft beer – these ales are rather pricey, but complete your visit to this fine establishment. True to the gin and tonic trend, Remo’s has three different gin-based drinks on the men that uses Malfy and London Dry gin infused with fresh fruits and herb. Remo’s also has its very own family-roasted coffee blend called La Dolce Vita, curated in Italy.
All waiters are friendly and ready to assist you with any query. The manager, Michelle, also takes great pride in managing her family business and will always go the extra mile for her customers. It’s important to note that bookings can only be made for tables of over 8 people.
This restaurant is as authentic and as true to the Italian aesthetic as it gets. When walking down the narrow stairway into the restaurant, you’re greeted with the smell of fresh dough baking in the wood-fired oven. Traditional upbeat Italian music plays in the background, adding to the feel of the busy spot. The walls are decorated with black and white pictures of Italian history and the Cicognini family, who owns the establishment. The quilted brown leather booths and black tables add to the genuine feel of the restaurant, with a pop of red to add colour. The old-school Vespa scooter is also a nice touch to the restaurant’s décor. Memorabilia is hung above the bar and the restaurant is adorned with white subway tiles and copper accents.
Birthday parties, celebrations, business meetings and dinner dates.
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