Since its opening, I have become a little intrigued by the restaurant. Traditional Italian food that is very received by the dinners and other bloggers… it even earned a spot in Vancouver Magazine among the best pasta found in this city.
With such expectation, I paid it a visit with a friend of mine. Not knowing that she would actually later leave Vancouver, that became the last time that I saw her. Ironic, eh. The restaurant is close to the intersection of Alma and Fourth Avenue. AMBIANCE… the size of the dinning room is very small – it fits, um, maybe a dozen tables with a few seats at the bar in front of the kitchen. The place is however well lit, and the large window definitely helps in that area. The tiny kitchen is nestled at the far end of the dining room. The limited space certainly didn’t stop the chefs from strutting their stuff. The whole place feels cozy and unpretentious.
FOOD wise, my friend and I ordered the 7-course La fagmilia menu. The dishes are picked by the chef and completely random. A great idea, I thought, to try out something different and to take out the hassle of making any decision. The two of us effectively shared 7 dishes at $40 per person. The menu opened with Melon and Prosciutoo di Parma. It’s what it is… simply, quality ingredients. It was followed by a salad. Then comes two pasta courses – linguine con vongole and gnocchi with sausages. Both dishes were very clean and well prepared. The gnocchi was heavenly, like little pillows. The rest of the meal carried on enjoyably. One of the later dishes was a roasted Cornish game hen. It’s flatten and roasted in the oven. The meat was tender and juice while the skin was crispy. It was perhaps one of the best piece of chicken that I have had in Vancouver. Though it was supposed to be a 7-course menu, we went on to have 9 courses. At $40, it was a steal. As explained by the waitress, the number of courses is actually at the chef’s discretion, depending on the size of each course (and perhaps the mood that he is in). If you decide to order individual dishes, the menu changes daily (the chalk board is right above the kitchen). The menu was full of classic and simple dishes. I have to give credit to the owner and, especially, the chef for making them relevant and delicious.
The SERVICE was also very friendly. Our waitress was patient in explaining the dishes and generous with her smiles. In general, the staff’s warmth worked well in tandem with the coziness of the restaurant.
Finally, this is definitely a place worth a visit. I expect it to become a bigger name in the local scene and more than just a neighbourhood restaurant.Cuisine: Italian, Local Ingredients Price: $20 – $30 Location: 3689 West 4th Ave Vancouver, BC Website: http://www.laquercia.ca/ Phone: (604) 676-1007