Pane Vino is a hidden gem tucked away on Water St. in downtown Rochester. Behind the pulsating clubs of the St. Paul Quarter, Pane Vino appears beside a courtyard overlooking the Genesee River and Kodak tower, where outdoor dining is sublime in the warmer months. Have valet park your car and enter into an elegant bar, then walk into the rustic/modern dining room with exposed brick, fireplace, and a view of the western skyline. The view is especially beautiful during sunset. The occasional train passing by adds a hint of Rochester's industrial heritage to the scene.
The wine list is great, and almost every wine can be ordered by the glass. The prices are also very reasonable. This is one of the most romantic places to enjoy a glass of cabernet.
Now, the food. The flavors are bold, especially in meat dishes. The chicken dishes, such as Pollo Asparagi, have wonderfully tender slices of chicken breast with brightly flavored sun-dried tomatoes. Veal Lombarda, equally tender, has a deep mushroom sauce. All of Pane Vino's sauces are powerful, if not heavy handed. Penne Vodka is always a good choice, not too creamy. It's the kind of Italian that is meant to enliven your tastebuds, similar to Portobello. In my last few visits it seems that the portion size has gotten a bit smaller. Consider this when deciding to order appetizers, such as the fried calamari, which has a very light batter that doesn't overpower the calamari. With entree and appetizer prices as moderate as they are, this is a good investment.