It had been awhile since I ate Italian food in Vancouver, B.C. and from what I remember, back in the 80s the real authentic stuff was at my baby sitter's and little neighborhood Italian meat shops. If it was a restaurant we went to, I can remember dining in the darkest room ever as you tried to distinguish what you were eating by the dimly candlelit tables, you know, that had those red bubbly glass candle votives?? Fun times, but when I want Italian food now, I definitely want a different experience.
So the last time we went up North, we were able to try one of the newer modern Italian restaurants just off Denman St. at Robson called Tavola. I couldn't have asked for a better recommendation from a friend, it was such a stellar experience. Our hilarious and attentive wait person not only kept us laughing with the funniest stories, but also passionately spoke of their hand made pastas, buffalo mozzarella and antipasto, all of which were sooo delicious. There's absolutely NO substitution for freshly made pasta and cheese. To start we sampled 3 of their crostinis, the walnut pesto with Gorgonzola and pear of which was probably the best I have ever had. Our main courses were all specialties of whatever was in season, perfectly sauced and seasoned. Meat eater or vegetarian, you will taste the care put into each enticing dish and sense their Italian roots while offering us combinations of flavors you might not expect, or perhaps would only get if you were actually in Italy.
Drinks were also heavenly, and they really seemed to know their beer and wine whether it was local or imported. I think if you were celebrating a special night out or just out with family, you would really love this place. Oh wait, dessert dessert! Holy cannoli, you CANNOT miss dessert at this place. Just as well prepared and orgasmic-inducing (even more so??) than dinner, I think their sticky toffee pudding with house made warm creamy toffee was one of THE best things I've ever put in my mouth. DID I JUST SAY THAT?
I offer you a feast for the eyes below, and hope that you get to make it to this fantastic gem right in the heart of Vancouver!