I was bestowed the title of judge for Vancouver Foodster’s annual Negroni challenge. Negroni is a classic Italian cocktail consisting of sweet vermouth, bitters, and gin. Each competitor was asked to put their spin on it.
As judge, my responsibilities included trying each of the competing cocktails and assigning a winner amongst them based on presentation, originality, and taste. A hard task, but my love of spirits helped.
And seeing as Sciué was the only Italian Bakery and Caffé in the running this year, they had a leg up on crafting a winning cocktail. And what they brought forth was a negroni that paired well with their grab-and-go paninis and pizza by the slice.
This is the Aged balsamic negroni, combining the classic ingredients of Gin, red vermouth, and Luxardo Apertivo, then adding quality aged balsamic vinegar to the mix. The result, a refreshing apéritif that has a liquorice essence to it. I won’t be going into any more detail of the drink, as to not reveal my judging result as the competition runs until October 2nd. Nor do I want to affect your own interpretation, as you too can try all the competitors and vote for your favourite cocktail with the link below. https://vancouverfoodster.com/2022/09/09/vancouver-negroni-challenge/
Seeing as we were already here on a weekend, we decided to stay for brunch. Starting off with their coffees and a sweet treat. The Ciambella came recommended and I can see why. This is a sugar crusted donut with a spongy texture. It reminded me of an airier and fluffier Chinese-style deep fried donut at its core. A nice spongy chew in contrast to the granular sugar that surrounded it. Pictured is their regular version, but they also have a jam filled worth trying.
Sciué is also known for their ready-made pizzas. Where most places offer it by the slices, you can be more specific on how little or much you want here. They carve per weight so you can curate the perfect piece, by saying “when” when the knife goes down to chop. Each segment is given a warming toast in their oven before being plated and served.
The easiest way to order is by sight, pointing from behind the glass. That was the case today as I eyed the zesty meatballs over a tomato sauce base and the bright green of a house made pesto over the pulled chicken.
This is flat bread pizza with a crispier crust designed as a quick and easy food option. Not heavy or greasy like the alternatives. And once again, you need only purchase what you want to eat with minimal crust thanks to their length-wise design.
But the real treat is their brunch menu. You wouldn’t expect a cafe to have such an extensive breakfast offering, made to order platters and skillets fresh from the oven. I was genuinely surprised and appreciative to have had discovered their affordable and delicious options today. A full menu of all the brunch favourites: poached eggs and hollandaise, smoked salmon and marscapone, pancetta and sopressata omelettes, classic breakfast platters, and even a tiramisu French toast. It was a missed opportunity not getting their breakfast pizzas. It was hard decision but we narrowed it down to the two below.
Their Brunch Benedette is like an eggs Benny, but instead of a soft English muffin, they sit atop crusty sourdough, which I prefer. Two poached eggs and a classic hollandaise on top of two slices of toast, served with rustic potatoes, and your choice of toppings. We went with the Pancetta and provolone cheese to have the saltiness of the meat and gooeyness of the cheese balanced by the runny yolks. This was exactly as expected, but the presentation felt more like what you would expect from a dine in restaurant than that of a cafe.
The Uova al tegamino is unique to to Sciué. Two sunny side up eggs, and their signature meatball baked in a personal skillet, topped with mozzarella and parmigiano. Served with roasted potato and a slice of bread. The eggs are at the bottom, so be sure to stir up to incorporate them in for a thicker sauce. The one meat ball may not look like a lot, but it is dense. Cut it up and use both it and the sauce as a dip for the bread, or as a dressing for the potatoes, especially with all the stringy cheese that comes with it.
In conclusion we are glad to have discovered Sciué Yaletown for the brunch spot that they are. Bistro-style plates at cafe prices. All overlooking Yaletown’s icon Roundhouse. Make them your next brunch stop when in Yaletown, and while you are there skip the mimosa and opt for their Aged Balsamic Negroni instead.
Sciué Italian Bakery Caffé
126 Davie St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2V4