Panorama, the new Italian restaurant in Monticello, brings authentic Italian cooking to Southeast Arkansas with pleasant results.
While the white tablecloths and the fresh-cut, long-stemmed rose on each table may signal fine dining, the ambiance is actually quite casual and the all-Italian menu is pretty straightforward with moderately priced homemade pastas, veal, chicken and seafood as well as a good selection of appetizers, salads and deserts.
Appetizers range in price from $4.75 for the home-style garlic bread topped with fresh tomato and mozzarella to $6.95 for the fried calamari (squid) while deserts range in price from $4.50 for Italian cheesecake and Black Forest cake, to $5.25 for tiramisu and chocolate mousse.
Children under the age of 12 have a nice selection of entrées for about $3.95. The children’s menu includes spaghetti and meatballs, cheese ravioli, chicken fingers, manicotti, lasagna, cannelloni, fettucine alfredo, and french fries.
My two lunch companions had eggplant parmesan for $9.95. They commented on the generous portion and said the sauce had a slightly acidic rather than sweet taste that southerners are more accustomed to. Both gave it a thumbs up.
I had the seafood-packed linguine di mare, a generous portion of homemade pasta with shrimp, scallops, and calamari covered in a light tomato sauce for $13.95. The pasta was very good and they didn’t skimp on the seafood, though the sauce was slightly mild for my spicy palate. A thumbs up from me.
It took about 35 minutes from the time we placed our order until we received our meal but our friendly and attentive server kept us satisfied with Panorama’s warm bread and butter. We were not on a particularly tight schedule but if you have limited time for lunch I would suggest that you ask your server to perhaps recommend an entrée for someone on a tighter schedule.
The restaurant, located at 200 North Main in Monticello, has large windows with a view of Monticello’s pretty town square. There is an outside seating area with patio tables and the inside seating area is spacious, allowing ample room between tables so that diners can enjoy their dinner conversation without distraction from other diners.
The restaurant does have a full bar available after 5 p.m.