Sunday, January 19, 2014

Vancouver: Yaletown L'Antipasto

sliding scale

It's in Yaletown. So in my opinion, there's a 20 percent undeserved mark-up. Notwithstanding, I like this place.  Actually, let me clarify, I liked this place. So much so I took Momma GG who was not pleased.

Yaletown L'Antipasto is hidden because it's tucked between two flashier venues: Paulie's Kitchen and Bistro Sakana. You can't even see the signage because it's hidden behind their porch cover but if you work anywhere in the area, you'll know this place. It's an open kitchen with limited seating but an awesome ventilation system. Service is lovely and it really is a cute spot but my last meal was a let down. I was going to say something in the moment, but then you know how it goes...sometimes it's more effort than one feels like putting in on a weekday night.

The flavours are all there, and the pastas I've tried to date are quite good. But they had a heavy hand that night - in terms of the amount of oil they're using. Two of the three dishes we ordered had an extraordinary amount of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). Before you argue this is the way it's done, I ask you to try it first. Taste buds trump, and if your mouth is coated in oil you likely don't enjoy whatever you're eating. I would chalk it up to inexperience. You need to intuitively know when to scale back on EVOO and when to let it pour. Like seasoning, it can make or break your dish.

I'm all for EVOO, but not when your food swims in it. And swam it did. First the bruschetta:

Bruschetta al pomodoro
Had good flavours and a wonderful chewy, crispy baguette but if only you knew. 
I couldn't even take a  photo because my hands were covered in grease.
The bread was soaked and a pile had formed on my plate.
That much oil is far from elegant
Momma GG's spaghetti alla vongole was swimming in EVOO. 

This dish is usually a favourite of mine, when done right it is spectacular. But if you look close you'll see the oil there...see it?  How about now...

It's hard to see, but there is a pool of oil, by my measurements, about 1/4 cup was sitting on the bottom of the plate after my mom had ate what she could. That is not perfectly balanced.
To end of a positive note, my pappardelle rose was delish with a generous heaping of meat:

organic tomato sauce, braised boneless shortrib beef tenderloin, chicken breast and italian fennel sausages. I don't get the chicken, but that's just me.

If they want me back, it's an easy two step system: less oil, more me.

Yaletown L'Antipasto on Urbanspoon

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