Bustling and ever popular, this well-established Italian restaurant has been a favourite of mine for many years.
Freshly-cooked, authentic food, speedy service tempered by a relaxed atmosphere keeps drawing me back.
This time it was with a pal who was a Pani’s novice who I brought down the cobbled side street.
A sunny Saturday afternoon had pulled in crowds of diners, so we were shown to a table near the back of the restaurant, which is crowded with trinkets from the homeland, which embellished its homely vibe.
Pushed for time, we ordered a starter and main course to share.
Pani’s antipasto (£7.95) was more than enough for two people – with the plate piled high with creamy hunks of mozzarella, silken slices of pepperoni, piquant sun-dried tomatoes and a tastebud-pleasingly fresh seafood salad of calamari, huge mussels and jumbo prawns.
Despite the ample offering, we also chose crespelle con ricotta e spinaci – crepes filled with ricotta cheese, spinach, mozzarella and tomato (£6.10).
It was definitely a comfort-food dish which we couldn’t finish, despite its delicious blend of flavours.
Even though I’ve been dining at Pani’s for many years, I still haven’t worked my way through the menu – a vast array of traditional dishes which proves there’s more to Italian food than pizza, which don’t appear on the menu at all.
Instead there’s a selection of topped flatbreads, home-made pork sausages, pan-fried seabass and more, all for under £10 between 10am-5pm.
For anyone with a sweet tooth, there’s also a long list of sinful cakes and ice creams to indulge in.
With a soft drink each, our meal came to exactly £18.