I have been here a while back. My original post deemed it nothing really special, but now looking for Italian in Yaletown I found myself returning with a different guest. Though my opinion remains the same.
The weather was warm enough to enjoy the patio, even with clouds and without sun. You just walk on to their patio and pick your seat. A small deck out front: seated with brown chairs, paired with black tables, and dresser with Maroon napkins. Clean and simple, like their cuisine. I fondly remembered their lighting fixtures made from repurposed wine bottles. Hanging in threes, these bottles had their bottoms removed and a bulb inserted inside. The patio actually has a view of the other patios on either side. Together they seemed like a block long shared patio, it made for a pretty cool vibe.
The menu was two pages divided between antipasti, franza, and pasta & risotto. “Before the meal”, “lunch”, and pasta and risotto. The guide to pasta types was most helpful, it included sketches for reference. Ravioli, pappardelle, gigli, rigatoni, and gnocchi. The addition of less common pasta shapes made our lunch a little more special. I was tempted by the lobster and crab ravioli, but as a rule I don’t order ravioli. I never find the serving enough, and the last thing I want to do is sit down to eat only to leave still hungry. And I rather not have to order two entrees to make that happen. Instead we decided to share a white and red sauce pasta. A wait is expected as they cook from scratch.
The meal started with cold water and a bowl of garlic seasoned olives and a dish for the pits. I do like olives, but as is, I found them too salty to enjoy on their own. I opted to save them for the pasta to come. A briny olive is an easy was to rejuvenate flavour to a meal mid way.
We asked for garlic bread as a side. They didn’t have any so offered regular bread instead. I enjoy bread with pasta, to be able to sop up extra sauce with it like a sponge.
“Gigi alla primavera”. Lily shaped pasta from Florence, dressed in a tomato and basil sauce; and draped with burrata. I appreciated the generosity of the fresh Italian cheese, made from mozzarella and cream. It had a melted almost congealed texture to it. Not recommend if you don’t like your cheese stringy and gooey like stretchy spider webs. It added a nice texture to the el dente pasta. The noodles were not only visually interesting, but they were texturally enjoyable as well. I enjoyed the chewing. Though neither of the above helped in making things less bland. We wished for as much flavour as there was colour in the sauce. The container of Parmesan cheese to sprinkle over things helped.
“Spaghetti alla carbonara”. Described as a classic Roman dish. Made with guanciale in a slightly peppered egg yolk cream sauce, served over fresh spaghetti pasta. Guanciale is an Italian cured meat or salami product prepared from pork jowl or cheeks. It is very similar to bacon, but in thicker, less fatty cuts. It gave a nice meaty saltiness to the dish. But together with the rich egg yolk, there was so much flavour that it was overwhelming. Too much to take in, I needed eating breaks. I wasn’t full when I asked for the rest to be packaged to go, but I jut couldn’t bring myself to finish the rest in one setting. They made pretty good leftovers though.
The bill still comes inside of a small jewelry box. Its lid was dripped with a red wax candle and stamped with a seal. Inside were two dark chocolate squares on top of what we owed.
Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – No.
Would I suggest this for someone visiting from out of town? – No.
Once again the food was average. The plates were neat, and the cuisine is simple. But for what we paid I don’t know if it is worth it. I wouldn’t be apposed to returning, but will have nothing to look forward to. I don’t have many more thoughts on the place so, will leave it at that. Though that is pretty telling in itself. Don’t deny your cravings.