Don Joe - Arrividerci Verona
Joe Parlati has been in Pattaya for more years than he
wants to remember, and now with at least eight years on “The Strip” (Walking
Street) with his Don Joe restaurant, it seems as if he decided it were
necessary for some changes to occur. We decided it was time again for some
real Italian food from Joe, the real Italian, the man who lives here but has
never forgotten his roots in Verona (the real Italy, if you listen to Joe).
For those who are unsure of the location, Don Joe is at the upper end of
Walking Street (almost opposite Tony’s Nightclub) about 50 meters past the
Marine Bar, heading towards Nang Nual and the Siam Bayshore hotel. You can
spot Don Joe from the sign, with Joe standing, like the Dons of old, with
his hand on Godfather Marlon Brando’s shoulder!
You come through the narrow entrance, lined with bottles of wine. “Only
Italian wine,” says Joe, “no copies! From a 800 baht to 25,000.” Then
through a small wine bar, and on into the dining areas. The inner one being
air-conditioned and seats 60, while the outside terrace, with overhead fans
is out over the water of the Bay of Pattaya, seats 65.
The air-conditioned dining section is decked out with salmon pink walls,
Italian bric-a-brac and art (all from Verona, Joe’s home town, he will be
quick to tell you. The tables are covered in red tablecloths with white
throw-overs and the bench seating is padded. The spunky waitresses are all
done out in white shirts, caps and (short) black skirts, but remain strictly
professional as well as being very welcoming.
So what changes have occurred? The main one is that Joe is no longer tied to
the kitchen stove. He is now free to walk, mingle, share a wine and a story,
while his friend Flavio, a professional chef who has worked in Italy, Europe
and Taiwan, has taken over the pots and pans. Flavio, just in case you were
wondering, comes from Verona!
Every item on Joe’s menu is home made, all from the original Italian old
style recipes. Don Joe does not pretend to aspire to haute cuisine, it is
home cooked like Mama used to make. The menu covers antipasti, starters and
salad, ranging in price between B. 50-350, with many dedicated vegetarian
items on offer. Next up are pastas and soups (around B. 140-200), then
seafood with the majority B 150-300.
Mains cover the full Italian range with most between B. 200-350, pizzas
(around B. 140-250), and there are also some new specialities including
risotto and tagliata, and finally desserts and coffees. There is also a
small Thai menu for anyone who has not understood this is an Italian
For lovers of gorgonzola, the pan fried beef steak that comes pocketed with
gorgonzola, with a fresh gorgonzola sauce with red wine is an aromatic
delight. Another excellent meat dish is the pork medallions, with a mushroom
and Madeira sauce, wonderfully tender meat and a smooth sauce.
The mixed antipasti platter with its various salami selections is very
pleasant and a great way to settle into an Italian evening meal, and an
opportunity to let the wine breathe a little.
However, despite all the menu choices, we have come to learn that the best
way to eat at Don Joe is to let “The Don” himself suggest, and just agree,
sit back and enjoy. He will ask whether you want meat, fish, seafood and
take it from there. In the meantime, his bevy of young ladies will keep you
in wine, and entertain your children.
Don Joe remains one of the Dining Out Team’s favorite Italian restaurants.
This is very filling home made Italian repasts. No ceremony, just a great
Italian evening. Best with a group, in the true Italian family way. We took
a couple of Australian friends, they enjoyed it immensely. You will enjoy it
too, and The Don will look after you. Highly recommended.
Don Joe, Ristorante Italiano, 112/2 Moo 10, Walking Street, South Pattaya,
telephone 038 710 733, open 4 p.m. until midnight (last orders 11 p.m. as
Joe and Flavio won’t be hurried).
Indonesian Spicy Prawn Soup
A light bouillon with just a little spice raises this
soup from the mundane. The recipe can be used for crab as well, or for
something a little different use both crab and prawn, but halve the quantity
of the two. The crab takes a little longer to cook than the prawn so add the
crab to the bouillon for two minutes before serving.
In four pre-warmed bowls, divide the coriander, tomatoes and prawns.
Bring the stock to the boil and then simmer.
Mix the garlic, sugar, lemon juice and chilli paste in a small pot and stir
until the sugar has all dissolved. Now stir this mixture into the boiling
stock and then pour immediately into the four bowls and serve.
This will produce a spicy prawn soup.
Ingredients Serves 4
Coriander leaf (finely chopped) 2 tbspns
Tomatoes (skinned, sliced)
Prawn (fresh, peeled)
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