Pair makes up one of the largest restaurant operations in Italy's Pordenone
By KENT HARRIS | STARS AND STRIPES Published: September 27, 2017
If you like to eat out with family and friends but have a hard time finding a place where everyone can find something they like, there might be a place for you in Polcenigo, Italy.
And if you make a reservation in time, you can invite just about everyone you know.
Luigino Zanette owns two restaurants in a complex atop a small winding road. One, Ristorante Cial de Brent, is a fine-dining establishment, the sort one might expect to see with a Michelin star. It’s laid out over a series of dining rooms on a floor above El Mordisco, a pizzeria that offers a lot more than pizza.
Mordisco’s menu features chef specials, such as grilled tuna, veal with mushrooms and an appetizer plate of ham, melon, cheese and roast beef. There’s also traditional Italian food: ravioli, gnocchi pesto, pasta with lobster and pasta with bacon and pistachios.
A Mexican section includes tacos and not-so-Mexican paella. Then there’s a section for large salads. A kid’s menu features a hot dog and fries, squid and chips, Wienerschnitzel and chicken wings. There are more than 70 offerings in the pizza section.
Any of the simpler fare can be brought upstairs to the fine dining area to eat, while other diners are using two forks and two knives with their fancy meals.
That’s not the standard practice, but the two restaurants — which have separate kitchens and separate staffs — sometimes cooperate.
Cial de Brent is almost a series of restaurants in its own right. It can hold about 500 people at a time, almost twice the capacity of the downstairs restaurant. Together, they make up one of the largest restaurant operations in the province of Pordenone. Not bad for a small town near the base of the Dolomites that’s dwarfed by several other nearby communities.
Though the menu at Cial de Brent is more concise, there are still a few pages of options to choose from for each of the appetizer, first and second courses. The food is presented elegantly and diners often get a complimentary appetizer.
Reservations are recommended for both restaurants, especially for groups on weekends.
Ristorante Cial de Brent & El Mordisco Pizzeria
Polcenigo is located southwest of Aviano Air Base. Turn right at the traffic circle in Vigonovo and continue into the town. Take the winding road up the hill at the sign roughly on the edge of the downtown. There are a few levels of parking.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays, 10-11 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays. (El Mordisco pizzeria is open Monday nights.)
Food: Cial de Brent features Italian in a formal setting; El Mordisco is a more casual place that serves Italian, Mexican, seafood, pizza and more.
Clientele: Cial de Brent attracts people gathering for functions from around the area; El Mordisco is geared toward smaller, local groups.
Menu: Cial de Brent’s is in Italian. Some English is spoken. A large portion of El Mordisco’s is translated into English.