When I saw that the food menu was buried at the back of a lengthy cocktail menu and wine list, I vaguely worried that Vero Panini & Wine Bar would turn out to be that type of place that overcharges for small portions and justifies its actions by calling them “tapas,” or “antipasti”: fingerling panini sandwiches, appetizer-sized salads, underwhelming charcuterie. Worse still, the food could be an afterthought entirely.
And then my antipasti plate ($14) arrived: Ultra-thin slices of proscuitto and salami virtually blanketed a generous bed of arugula and frisee salad; cubes of pecorino, tomato slices, pepperoncini bits, olives, small ribbons of roasted peppers were scattered everywhere; drizzled, dotted lines of aged balsamic vinegar zigzagged across the whole thing. This is no mere antipasti plate, but an antipasti salad of gargantuan proportions. Paired with one additional smallish appetizer, or maybe even just some extra bread (the plate comes with a container with about a dozen toast points) it’s easily enough for two.
The panini my dining partner had was of an appropriate, sandwich size and won this giant compliment (paraphrase): “We had the most amazing paninis for lunch one day while we were touring wineries in Italy; our guide took us to a local little lunch spot. This is the closest thing I’ve had since — they make them exactly like this.”