Pane Bianco v. Tutti Santi: Lasagna Battle
Natalie Miranda Layers of pasta and parmesan make up the lasagna at Pane Bianco.
Pasta noodles layered with cheese and smothered in fresh tomato sauce: Nothing is more comforting than a plate of homemade lasagna. The classic Italian dish is easily found at restaurants in the Valley, and to be honest, there are some places that should just leave it to the chefs who really know what they're doing.
Instead of popping that over-priced frozen lasagna into the oven, read who we think has the best lasagna plate in our latest showdown.
Natalie Miranda Pane Bianco has a modern rustic feel.
The Setting: Created by celebrated chef Chris Bianco, Pane was originally opened as a to-go only sandwich shop with fresh baked bread and homemade mozzarella. Now the menu has expanded to include antipasta, salads, pasta dishes, pizza and dessert. The restaurant is low key with a modern rustic atmosphere.
The Good: We ordered the lasagna al forno, which comes with crushed tomato sauce, beschemel -- a white sauce made with butter, flour and milk -- and parmesan. Bright red tomatoes surround the modest mound of lasagna with a few leaves of basil on top. Each pasta noodle was thick, but in a way that didn't give us that heavy feeling that can often come from lasagna. A bit of sweetness came through as an aftertaste, which was a nice surprise. It didn't take us long to completely clean the serving of lasagna.
The Bad: One question that popped up: Where is the cheese? Parmesan has a bold flavor, but doesn't give that gooey feel to pasta dishes. We ditched the basil leaves that were on top as they didn't do much to enhance the dish.