Italian food is universally appreciated and, like Thai cuisine, it travels well. To sit under the stars on a tropical night and tuck into Italian delights with a bottle of good wine is an unforgettable experience.
Spacious, well appointed and tasteful, Da Vinci specializes in genuine Italian cuisine served in a sophisticated manner. With a bevy of beauties for a wait staff (even the pizza chef is a pretty girl) Da Vinci has certainly got the aesthetics right.
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On a fine night most diners choose to eat al fresco in the breezy courtyard but Da Vinci also has a spacious and well-lit open-sided interior with parquet floors, ceiling fans, modern art, a sofa, bar and even a colourful children's play area over by the wood-fired oven. A white-and-black leitmotif runs through the restaurant resulting in a pleasing spacious feel to it.
The outside dining section is interspersed with shrubbery and, to top it all off, the good chunky crockery, white linen tablecloths and quality cutlery lend a distinctive feel.
Breezy, romantic and distinctive; Café del Mar-like music provides a pleasing audio backdrop to the proceedings (as do nearby noisy cicadas) while wait staff do a good job of adding to the atmosphere.
It's obvious that many of the customers are regulars and this cements the 'genuine' impression that Da Vinci gives out.
At the same time Da Vinci is far from being a pompous nose-in-the-air eatery so expect light-hearted banter with lots of smiles.
All labels at Da Vinci are Italian and with a 12 white and a 15 red wine list there's a good choice. House reds, Bosco Del Cermioli Rosso and Matte Rosso, along with whites Bosco Del Cermioli Bianco and Matte Bianco, are sold by the glass or carafe at reasonable rates.
We choose an Allegrini 2006 Valpolicella Classico and it's a great companion to the evening's dishes. Overall, wine prices are not wallet busters here – the most expensive being a pricey Brunello Di Montalcino at 4,200 baht.
Da Vinci also does a good line in exotic and tasty cocktails and has local and international beers.
Every successful restaurant needs a talented hands-on chef to create and maintain the highest standards possible and Da Vinci is no exception to the rule.
Chef John hails from nearby Krabi Province and is a maestro in producing top-of-the-range and spanking fresh dishes such as his bruschetta which is made with oven-baked (in the restaurant's wood-fired oven, of course) bread.
With achingly fresh topping prepared just moments before and olive oil oozing through; if this doesn't pique your appetite then nothing will. This is followed by a beef carpaccio, rucola and grana – a delicate combination of hydroponic salad and wafer-thin slices of meat.
To the side stand a tomato and mozzarella caprese and such delights as cold veal in a tuna sauce – sounds bizarre but it really works. The insalate di mare with Chiang Mai lemon is highly recommended, as is black spaghetti with squid and prawns in a tomato sauce while the restaurant's spaghetti bolognaise is genuine, honest and delectable.
All pasta dishes are served in ample 150-gramme portions. Perhaps the tastiest dish of the evening is the pasta tricolore and when I comment on this three other candidates for the best dish are offered by fellow diners – such is the quality of food at Da Vinci. Good stuff.
Tasteful, well trained, certainly attractive and well presented, the girls at Da Vinci are the result of a lot of quality coaching and the upshot is an eminently dependable service team.
Where Is It?
In Nai Harn – at the foot of Phuket Island near the famous sunset view Phromthep Cape. If coming from Patong, simply follow the road south along the coast towards Nai Harn Beach. Count on a 25-minute drive.
In Nai Harn village you will notice Da Vinci's white-and-black colour scheme in the B Zenter Mall on the right, halfway through the village. Park around the back – there's plenty of space.
Da Vinci Ristorante
- Opening Hours: 16:30 - 23:30
- Location: Soi Saiyuan Nai Harn, Rawai
- Tel: +66 (0)7 628 9574