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Food Review: Experience a taste of Italy at Nino’s Trattoria Italiana, Pangbourne





Nino’s Trattoria Italiana and deli opposite complement Pangbourne’s already bustling High Street.

Guests to the traditional, family-run restaurant are greeted with a warm and homely atmosphere, the walls and shelving embellished with photographs and memorabilia denoting to the rich southern Italian heritage of its namesake.

Inside Nino’s
Inside Nino’s

I started by ordering the Mozzarella in Carrozza (£8.80), lightly-fried bread-crumbed buffalo mozzarella, served with tomato sauce.

Crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside, the tomato was deliciously sweet – a well-portioned starter which left me hungry for more.

Mozzarella in Carrozza (£8.80), bread-crumbed buffalo mozzarella lightly fried and served with a tomato sauce
Mozzarella in Carrozza (£8.80), bread-crumbed buffalo mozzarella lightly fried and served with a tomato sauce
Mozzarella in Carrozza (£8.80), bread-crumbed buffalo mozzarella lightly fried and served with a tomato sauce
Mozzarella in Carrozza (£8.80), bread-crumbed buffalo mozzarella lightly fried and served with a tomato sauce

For my main, I tried the house special Tagliatelle Nino (£18.20), featuring egg noodles with clams, mussels, king prawns, squid, cherry tomatoes and a touch of tomato sauce.

As a lover of seafood, this one measured up to my expectations, boasting a broad mix of textures and flavours. A stand out for me was the thick noodles and shrimp in particular.

Tagliatelle Nino (£18.20), egg noodles with clams, mussels, king prawns, squid, cherry tomatoes and a touch of tomato sauce
Tagliatelle Nino (£18.20), egg noodles with clams, mussels, king prawns, squid, cherry tomatoes and a touch of tomato sauce
Tagliatelle Nino (£18.20), egg noodles with clams, mussels, king prawns, squid, cherry tomatoes and a touch of tomato sauce
Tagliatelle Nino (£18.20), egg noodles with clams, mussels, king prawns, squid, cherry tomatoes and a touch of tomato sauce

What made this meal even more special is that £1 from each meal is donated to the Sue Ryder Duchess of Kent Hospice charity, which cared for the restaurant’s founder, Nino Bartolomei, until his death in 2018, covered by the Newbury Weekly News.

I concluded with the Tortino Di Cioccolato (£6.40) for dessert, chocolate fondant served with vanilla ice cream.

The spongy exterior masked the rich, creamy chocolate sauce inside – the perfect way to end.

Tortino Di Cioccolato (£6.40) chocolate fondant served with vanilla ice cream
Tortino Di Cioccolato (£6.40) chocolate fondant served with vanilla ice cream

But not before enjoying a shot of Limoncello.

What better way to conclude my deep dive into Italian cuisine than trying the popular lemon liqueur, mainly produced in the Gulf of Naples, the Amalfi Coast and Sicily?

Having toured the Amalfi Coast for two weeks last summer, I am basically an expert on what makes a model Italian digestif, knowing what to look for and what to avoid.

If too yellow and viscous with a sticky, sugary aftertaste, then it isn’t worth your time.

A shot of Limoncello, a lemon liqueur traditionally served chilled after dinner
A shot of Limoncello, a lemon liqueur traditionally served chilled after dinner

But fortunately, this was not the case at Nino’s.

Nino Senior emigrated to Britain from Salerno in the 1960s.

He opened 11 Italian restaurants across his 50-year career, including Nino’s Market Place in Reading in 1980.

Inside Nino's deli
Inside Nino's deli

The family opened its Pangbourne restaurant in 2013, now run by Nino’s son, Nino Junior.

What makes Nino’s even more authentic is the fact its ingredients are sourced direct from Italy, as well as from local markets.

Pizzetta offerings inside Nino's deli
Pizzetta offerings inside Nino's deli
Limoncello refill station inside the deli
Limoncello refill station inside the deli

Many of these ingredients are also available to purchase in its traditional Italian deli, which opened just across the street last June.

So, the next time you’re passing through Pangbourne, make sure to stop at Nino’s.



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