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Acquafarina apertivo

The illusive Acquafarina, better known as that restaurant that originally banned the use of cell phones and photo taking, has since dis-banned its policy. After a limited and successful trial run of yes to phones and photos, is now opting for a more social friendly approach to advertising. And this transition includes hosting its first ever media event, and Iucky me, my name was on the list.

Despite the restaurant’s reputation as a fine dining Italian establishment, tonight’s evening was a more causal affair. A intimate gathering at their upper floor seating area, to enjoy a couple of cocktails and a few of their appetizers in a share-style format.

As they do not list their online menu, and this was a more informal service, I cannot guarantee that what was served is available for ordering, and if it is, that it would look anything like the plates we enjoyed tonight. But what I can confirm is that the quality of the ingredients is of the finest, and the service some of the most professional.

The following is what we enjoyed amongst our table of 4, I only got a bite of each, so please take my review with a grain of salt.

To begin with we were each given one of their signature cocktails served in a coup. A combination of gin, peach, sake, genmaicha (green tea with puffed rice), and lemon juice; finished with a spritz of a sesame tincture. This was an easy drinking cocktail, neutral and approachable in that it was neither sweet, florally or smokey. Just clean and mellow, with a slight bitterness from the sake and green tea.

Our first small bite was their in house cured duck with figs on a tartlet shell. A crispy and salty-sweet morsel.

We had both their tuna and scallop crudo with pickled onion, creme fresh and caviar. The tuna was fatty and lush, whereas the scallop firm. Both elegant and fresh with their accompanying toppings.

The Steak tartare with black truffle was eye popping. Individually doled out servings of gently seasoned raw beef atop of a soften crostini. Finished off luxuriously and generously with a whole slice of fragrant truffle. This one I found paired very well with the more savoury-toned cocktail above. And with the course above, we were also given a look at a $1000 truffle.

The Gnocchi fritto was a clever way of presenting a classic. Spongy pockets of chewy potato dough stuffed with duck leg confit and freeze dried raspberries. Best enjoyed warm for a soft and gooey centre. You could eat a plate of these easy, given how effortless it was to pop them in your mouth.

And as a taste of their mains we shared their house-made pasta the day, doled out family style. A couple of scoops each, with bits of wild foraged mushrooms scattered throughout. The elongated spirals were a perfect chewy texture, I just could have done with less olive oil for a cleaner mouthfeel.

In short this was not a true account of what their dinner service is like, but good enough of a teaser to help me anticipating a future return.

425 W Georgia St, Vancouver, BC V6B 5A1
(604) 558-3099

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