Cibo Trattoria – Best Ravioli

Italian Fine Dining in the heart of Vancouver downtown. Serving traditional tasty Italian dishes.

The room makes me think of Whistler, gleaming wood and fireplace lighting with glamorous chandeliers hanging from their tall ceilings.

My weekend dinners are late in the evening and, by the time I’m about to eat I am lightheaded from starvation. I attacked the cheese bread like the first day after a no-carb diet.

Cheese bread @ Cibo

Chicken Liver Toscana, it was tasty but, the slabs of pickles made it too sour. I would have preferred if it was served on something more inspiring than two pieces of toast. 3/5

Chicken liver toscana @ Cibo

One of my favourite ingredients is pumpkin. That being said, I’ve tried so many pumpkin dishes that I know when a dish fails to meet my crazy expectations. This Pumpkin Ravioli passed my test. The pumpkin really came through and it was so creamy 4/5

Pumpkin ravioli @ Cibo

Roast suckling pig, Very moist and tender I love the mint. The rosemary however was overpowering. 3/5

Roast suckling pig @ Cibo

Roast ling cod, well prepared but the dish fell flat. It was too simple and lacked the layers of flavor found in our other dishes. 2.5/5

Roast ling cod @ Cibo

Cibo Trattoria & Uva Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

Manzo at Eately – Black Truffle and Foie Gras Heaven

I love this restaurant, by far one of our best dining experiences in New York, Wall Centre. Part of Food Persuasion taking on NYC series.

Manzo was definitely my most memorable experience in New York. The restaurant is situated inside Eately, an upscale Italian market. Manzo, is the only restaurant inside the market that accepts reservations. Trust me, advanced reservations will be required.

Manzo at Eately New York
Manzo at Eately New York

With Chris Rock sitting only a few meters away and, Foie Gras and Truffle in my tummy, I was in heaven.

My first dish Seared Foie Gras with Figs A smashing 5/5, I had a mini orgasm. This dish was ordered a la carte off their 7 course tasting menu.

Foie Gras
Foie Gras with Figs

Seared Striploin with Foie Gras & Cherry Aceto Balsamico, was rich and decadent. As expected the Striploin was seared to perfection. The Cherry Aceto Balsamico complimented very well with the meat and created a well rounded explosion of flavor. 5/5

Seared Striploin with Foie Gras
Seared Striploin with Foie Gras

Carne Cruda al Coltello with Enoki Mushrooms & Black Truffle Bruschetta (Carne Cruda, steak tartare. 4/5

 Carne Cruda al Coltello
Carne Cruda al Coltello


Guinea Hen with Chanterelles, Foie Gras Sugo & Black Truffles, was phenomenal. Don’t let the white meat fool you, this dish is rich. With the 3 shared courses down, I was dying half way through my entrée.  Yet I couldn’t stop! This dish had all my favourite ingredients. 4.5/5

Guinea Hen with Chanterelles Foie Gras and Black Truffles
Guinea Hen with Chanterelles Foie Gras and Black Truffles

Tagliata with Sweet Potato, Funghi Misti & Bone Marrow Agrodolce. (Tagliata, thinly sliced beef) Suck my fingers kind of succulent. Again, cooked to perfection and the bone marrow gave the dish a melt in your mouth finish. 5/5

Tagliata with Funghi Misti and Bone Marrow
Tagliata with Funghi Misti and Bone Marrow

Lamb Loin with Belly Confit, Cranberry Beans & Green Onions. Indulgent dish, think about it, belly confit with loin, I was rolling in fat and deliciously happy. 4.5/5

Lamb Loin with Belly Confit
Lamb Loin with Belly Confit

Yukon Gold Crocche, a potato side dish. If you have a limitless belly I suggest you order this side. Luscious potato croquette covered with crispy breadcrumbs. 4.5/5. I was delirious by this point, I could only frustratingly eat one.

Potato Croquettes Manzo at Eately
Potato Gold Crocche

If you are looking for restaurants to try in New York I recommend Manzo. For the ingredients alone it is very affordable. The bill came out to be $100 each between the three of us and, that includes 3 glasses of wine.

Frankie’s Italian Kitchen & Bar – Simple and Tasty Italian, Best Value Downtown

Frankies Bar

We were seated in the dining section for a late lunch. Sadly, other than us there was one other patron. The room was nice and spacious. The service was friendly and, the food was simple and good dishes. It reminded me of home cooked Italian dinners.


Bolognaise pasta – it was very good, and the sauce was not overly salty as with many pasta dishes.

bolognaise pasta

We both enjoyed the seafood risotto, with prawns, scallop and, the risotto was perfectly cooked and the then creamy tomato based sauce was rich and flavorful.

seafood rissoto

Overall, the price was very pretty decent for portion and the quality. Actually, it may be the best value Italian food you can find downtown Vancouver, even without our discount.  We ended using a Frankie’s promotional flyer at a $20 discount.

I would absolutely recommend this restaurant for lunch.

Frankies receipt

Frankie's Italian Kitchen & Bar on Urbanspoon

La Buca – Rustic Italian Fare

La Buca Restaurant – Affordable and Casual Italian Fare in Kitsilano. It’s become a neighborhood staple.
Food Persuasion Level: [rating=3]
Value: [rating=3]
Service : [rating=4]
Ambiance: [rating=3]
Price: $$
Cuisine: Italian Restaurant
Location: Kitsilano Vancouver
La Buca Restaurant Menu

On a Friday night admist a packed room of hungry patrons, I sat sipping on wine while my friend refreshed me on his colorful and let’s say  “pg-13” update of his past affairs. While he continued to ramble I took a closer look at the space, cozy and unpretentious and, judging by the wait at the door was a hit with the locals.

One nagging issue stood out immediately when we sat down, the tables are so close together that whenever a server comes around and squeezed between the tables the distance from your face to their ass was too close for comfort.  You are forced to sit-up and lean back or it’ll look like you are whispering an intimate perverted secret to his butt while stuffing food in your mouth. Not a pretty picture.

Started out with the Porcini Mushroom Risotto, this was amazing. The stock they used was so flavourful and rich, an absolute recommend. I apologize for the poor picture quality, I took it with my iphone.

mushroom rissoto

The tuna although was fresh and cooked perfectly was overdosed in salt. The steak was tender but, was swimming in salty sauce.


I would go back  not for the entrees but, the amazing rissoto.

La Buca on Urbanspoon

The Next Local Hotspot – Nook Restaurant

Focus on simple and fresh local ingredients in West End. Italian Cuisine on Denman

Nook Restaurant

Food Persuasion Level [rating=3]
Value Service [rating=3]
Price: $$
Cuisine: Italian
Location: Downtown Vancouver
Nook Restaurant Menu

From the team that brought us the recently closed and long-time downtown community hot spot Tapastree brings us Nook, a neighborhood gem that focuses on fresh local products and simplicity. Nook, a cozy restaurant is quickly gaining a rep for being a new local hotspot known for their simple and affordable menu. They have a short and simple menu and wine list so don’t come in expecting a culinary smorgasboard, like truffle infused, red wine reduced…

I had the orecchiette pasta $17 with Italian sausage, fennel, rapini and chilies. A simple but well done dish, the pasta was cooked andante, the way I like it. My friend had the spaghetti with Bolognese sauce, tomato based sauce with beef. Both dishes could have used a little less salt but, the pasta was not swimming in a pool of oil as seen at many other Italian restaurants. I give them extra points for their noticeable effort in the quality of the ingredients.

Orecchiette Pasta - Nook Restaurant

As compared to the growing list of Italian restaurants popping up through Downtown Vancouver, Italian KitchenTrattoria Kitchen,   Cibo Trattoria  Restaurant is comparable, not only in the quality of the food but, also the value.  The pasta dishes at Nook range at $14 -$17 versus Italian Kitchen at $16-$18.

Bolognese Pasta- Nook Restaurant

The one thing that sets Nook apart when compared with the other schmoozey Italian restaurants downtown Vancouver,  is the neighborhood restaurant vibe, lacking of pretense, lambo’s valet in front or conversations on their next million dollar venture. I truly believe it is the patrons that create the atmosphere and here people were laid back and generally friendly.

Tip: As an up and coming local hotspot this place gets packed fast. I went on a Thursday at 6pm and a half an hour later there was already a 20min lineup.

Yet to try their pizza’s but, have heard rave reviews, so if anyone has tried it, let me know what you thought.

781 Denman Street
Vancouver, BC
(604) 568-4554


Nook on Urbanspoon