Posts Tagged ‘Pasta’


6011 Hastings Street, Burnaby

Tel: 604-299-8002


Twitter: @cottoenoteca

Advice: Make reservations for large parties, sit at the communal table or the bar if dining solo.

Pizza Oven

My love for Italian food took me East last week to dine at the newly opened North Burnaby restaurant that has Chef Alex Tung at the helm. Upon visiting I discovered more than just Italian food, there is a beautiful communal table, and a spectacular bar made of Italian white marble, very cool light fixtures and the star wood burning pizza oven. They are also featuring the FreshTap revolutionary system for Wine on Tap as well as Beer on Tap, and Q Water that uses a high tech water filtration system which is eco-friendly and sustainable.

Cotto Fior di Latte

Pizza Polpetti (left) & Pizza Funghi (right)

My friend Jason Sanders joined me to be my sharing partner in crime, we started off with the Cotto Fior di Latte ($8) roasted mushrooms, crema di balsamico followed by a pizza with halfers of the Pizza Polpetti ($15 for regular) crushed Cotto meatballs, ricotta cheese, Grana Padano, spinach, San Marzano tomato sauce, basil; and the Pizza Funghi ($15) for regular)  roasted mushrooms, goat cheese, fonduta, caramelized onions, chives.

Bucatini Pomodoro

Gnocchi Patata

We then had the Bucatini Pomodoro ($11) fresh mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano, basil, San Marzano tomato sauce; followed by the delicious speciality of the house, Gnocchi Patata ($12) fried potato gnocchi, Sloping Hill pancetta, Parmigiano-Reggiano, arugula, herb oil.

Salted Caramel Budino

For dessert we each had the Salted Caramel Budino ($8) Butterscotch pudding, Maldon sea salt, rosemary biscotti which was outstanding and worthy of us each indulging in our dish of this yummy goodness! We also had a taste of their house made Limoncello which is a beverage you must indulge in with your dessert. With Executive Chef Alex Tung at the helm you will always know this is where you are going to want to dine!

Review By: Richard Wolak


4660 Hastings Street, Burnaby

Tel: 604-298-7252


Twitter: @romanapizza

Advice: Take a long a friend or two and share a variety of dishes.

For over 38 years the family has been cooking fine Greek cuisine at this locale, known for their pizza which I have enjoyed previously, this visit was to eat Greek. I brought along a couple of friends Jonathan and Emmy and we embarked on a tasting and sharing adventure.

Dip Platter

Greek Salad


We started off the meal with the large Dip Platter ($13.50) pita, and a selection of dips the homous, spicy feta, garlic eggplant and tzatziki; followed by a wonderful Greek Salad ($10) fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, onions, and feta; followed by the delicious Kalamari ($10) deep fried and served with tzatziki.



Roasted Potatoes


Lamb Kleftiko

Chicken Thessaloniki

Next was the outstanding Spanakopita ($8) Spinach, feta, egg and dill wrapped in filo & baked; this was followed by another outstanding dish, the Saganaki ($10) Pan fried mountain sheep cheese done with a touch of ouzo. This was followed the delicious Mousaka ($16) layered ground beef, meliziano, and béchamel sauce, along with a plate of roasted potatoes. The next dish was the tender Lamb Kleftiko ($19) casserole along with the Chicken Thessaloniki ($19) tender chicken breast topped with steamed spinach, roasted vegetable sauce, feta and mozzarella.

Dessert Platter

We finished off our meal sharing a dessert platter with my favourite Eckmek and Bougatsa, both were delicious and were the perfect ending to our Greek night.

By: Richard Wolak


2118 Burrard Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-736-2220


Twitter: @NoVoPizzeria

Advice: Located in the 5th Avenue Cinema complex. One hour free parking in the underground parking garage.

I am so there when it comes to eating at a new Italian resto, I had dinner recently with my friend and fellow writer Sarah Rowland to do some damage. Our version of damage was to taste our way through several dishes off the menu, since we were both lovers of Italian cuisine.


Sicilian Meat Balls

To begin, we shared the tasty Burrata ($13) with olive oil, sea salt and balsamic; followed by the Sicilian Meat Balls ($8) currants, pine nuts, regianno, marinara.

Mushroom Pizza

Verdura Cotta Pizza

Next we shared the Mushroom Pizza ($17) truffled mushrooms and fontina with a tomato sauce base along with the Verdura Cotta Pizza  ($16) goat cheese, onions, artichokes, roasted peppers, fior de latte with an olive oil base. Their pizza here is Napoletana style which follows the standards for this style of pizza with the ingredients used as well as the correct type of oven and cooking methods.


Sausage Orecchiette

Next we shared the Gnocchi ($18) pan fried in sage butter with mushrooms; along with the flavourful Sausage Orecchiette ($18) with home-made sausage and fennel pollen.

Nutella Calzone


For me dessert is always the best part of a meal, and the Nutella Calzone ($10) is a crispy pizza dough that is filled with a warm Nutella and hazelnuts mixture, this dessert that Sarah and I shared was heavenly. So, so good it should be on the menu, it is not on the printed menu, if you want it just ask your server and they will make it especially for you.  The second dessert that we shared was the delicious Tiramisu ($10) which was good, but it was the dessert that wasn’t on the menu that as had me wanting to return for more!

Review by: Richard Wolak



5395 West Boulevard, Vancouver

Tel: 604-267-4225


Twitter: @the_mac_shack

Advice: If you are going with a friend and having any of the Mac & Cheese dishes then share a medium size or get 2 smalls and share.

West Coast Salad

Having a Mac & Cheese growing up was never as fun as my recent visit to The Mac Shack for dinner. My friend Cassandra Anderton joined me to indulge in Mac & Cheese oooey gooey cheesy goodness! We started with some greens and each had a small West Coast Salad ($5) with tossed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, mushrooms and honey roasted pecans served with a light raspberry vinaigrette.

Lobster Mac

The Ultimate

Build Your Own

Bread Dippers

Next, we shared 3 of the Ultimate size of Mac & Cheese, all were served in large cast iron pans, the first was the outstanding Lobster Mac ($18) with asiago & Canadian cheddar, lobster meat, oyster mushrooms, lemon, dill, truffle oil and roasted garlic in a cream sauce. The second was The Ultimate ($16) with bacon, bell peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, chicken, chorizo, shrimp, with Mozzarella and Gruyere cheese in a tomato sauce. Third, was a Build Your Own ($16), which I built using the healthiest of ingredients on offer, ours had Aged cheddar and Asiago, along with whole wheat pasta, broccoli, caramelized onions, and mushrooms in a tomato sauce. We also added an order of Bread Dippers ($ .90) that perhaps was adding more carbs into the mix that we could have done without.

The Squish

The Skillet Brownie

We both thought dessert was in order to round up our comforting meal. We both shared The Squish ($4.75) double chocolate chip cookies filled with vanilla ice cream with a raspberry coulis, however it was the 2nd dessert that was the clear favourite for us both, The Skillet Brownie ($5.90) double chocolate brownie warmed in a skillet topped with vanilla bean gelato and drizzled with raspberry coulis.

The Mac Shack has taken Mac & Cheese to a new level, with the best cheese and quality ingredients this is surely Mac & Cheese that you are going to want to eat time and time again.

Review By: Richard Wolak



1118 Denman Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-683-8485


Twitter: @coscarestaurant

Advice: Sharing platters are a great way to taste more dishes.

Funghi Selvatico

Calamari Livornese

Malanzane Arrosto


It’s no secret that I love Italian, my friend Avelino had been raving about the pasta dishes at Cosca for quite some time. I had been invited in for a media dinner recently and I knew this was one that I could not pass up. It was a wonderful evening of meeting other passionate foodies, we shared several appetizers that included the Funghi Selvatico ($11) Wild mushroom medley, pecorino – romano; Calamari Livornese ($10) Tender sautéed calamari, tomatoes, garlic, capers, olives; and the delicious Malanzane Arrosto ($11) Roasted eggplant, basil marinara, smoked mozzarella. Complimentary house baked Focaccia was served along with balsamic and olive oil for dipping.

Pappardelle Boscaiola & Linguini Pesto e Gamberi

For the main, I chose Avelino’s favourite pastas as I knew I couldn’t go wrong and since he had been raving about two of their pastas, I had them prepare a Pasta Platter ($16) featuring 2 different pastas – the tasty Linguini Pesto e Gamberi Shrimp, sundried tomato, pesto-cream sauce and the outstanding Pappardelle Boscaiola Fresh egg pasta, wild mushroom ragu, smoked mozzarella, truffle oil .

Chocolate Torte, Tiramisu & Apple Cake

We then had a Dessert sharing platter featuring all 3 of their desserts including the Chocolate Torte, Apple Cake and the deliciously light Tiramisu. I love Italian restaurants not only for the savoury hearty dishes but for a beautiful sweet finish, Cosca won me over with their pastas but failed to win me over in their desserts.

Review By: Richard Wolak


3004 Cambie Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-873-0001


Twitter: @thefirewoodcafe

Advice:  For delivery they will deliver your order in our HOTBAG, delivery is free within a 4km radius. Great monthly specials.

#7 California Pizza

#21 Tuscany Pizza

I had fond memories from ordering pizza to go years ago from Firewood, recently I yearned for some pizza delivered to me so that I could eat at home for a change. I ordered the #7 California Pizza (Medium $16) BBQ chicken, red onions, cilantro & smoked gouda which was as good as I remembered it to be. Tonight was another perfect night to dine in at home, this time I ordered the #21 Tuscany Pizza (Small $11.60) Fresh basil, fresh garlic, red peppers & sun-dried tomatoes. I loved both of the pizzas and both were quite different too.

There are all sorts of toppings to choose from on the pizzas if you wish to customize your own pizza, though the best way would be to order one of their pizza creations off the menu by number. You will also find a good selection of pasta dishes, salads and garlic bread.

Review By: Richard Wolak


1835 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver

Tel: 604-568-6177


Twitter: @Thebibo

Advice: You can get half the pizza with one variety and another with a different variety, just ask your server. Slicing the pizza is not recommended, best to use your hands and tear the pizza as this is Napoletana style.

An authentic pizzeria offering up the best ingredients imported from Italy, a casual restaurant where you will find a screen in the back often playing old Italian movies that is also projected on the tv above the bar.

Pasta sampler of Gnocchi, Mateo & Rigatoni

Bibo Tagliolini

My friend Carlos joined me for dinner, it was my second visit and I was excited to indulge in some of their pasta and pizza selections; to begin we had a sampler of a few of their pasta creations, each of us had our favourites though both of us were agreeable that the Gnocchi was the favourite of all. The Pasta sampler of Gnocchi, Mateo & Rigatoni Norma ($16) fresh homemade Gnocchi pasta served with pesto sauce; Bibo Mateo a wide pasta paired with Italian Porcini mushroom sauce; Rigatoni ala Norma an ancient Sicilian recipe, tomato, basil and maccheroni pasta served with grilled eggplant and seasoned salt ricotta cheese. We also shared a smaller portion of the Bibo Tagliolini ($15 reg size) crafted with San Marzano DOP tomatoes, produced in the “Campania” region of Italy.

Funghi Porcini & Boscaiola - Pizza

Diavola & Prosciutto - Pizza

Next up we each had our own pizza, there pizzas are masterpieces of art, each is hand crafted, crispy and bubbly on the outside and tender on the inside. We requested to have ours halved with different varieties, I had the Pizza ($18) half Funghi Porcini – Tomato, mozzarella, porcini mushrooms and Boscaiola Tomato, mozzarella, sausage, mushrooms and Carlos had Pizza ($16) half Diavola – Tomato, mozzarella, spicy salami and half Prosciutto – Tomato, mozzarella, cooked ham. One thing to note is that they use two different types of cheese on their pizzas which reflect in the prices, for the higher priced pizzas they use the DOP Burrata cheese which is the finest type of Burrata cheese from Italy making for an unbelievable tasting pizza.

You’ll find a good selection of Italian wines as well as other beverages. This Italian dining experience wouldn’t have been complete if we didn’t indulge in one of there heavenly desserts, since we couldn’t decide on just one we shared three of them, each delicious and very different.



Chocolate Pizza

The first was the exquisite Bounet ($8) a traditional Piemontese pudding made with amaretti and cocoa. Then the creamy Tiramisu ($8) which was the most heavenly Italian dessert, made of Italian savoiardi biscuits dipped in coffee, layered with a whipped mixture of egg yolks, italian mascarpone and flavored with liquor and cocoa and the final dessert we shared was the outstanding Chocolate Pizza ($14) a pizza dough baked and smothered with a rich melted chocolate cream.

Looking forward to my next visit for the Margherita Formula One pizza a taste sensation unlike any other pizza you have had around the city!

Review By: Richard Wolak


138 Victory Ship Way, North Vancouver

Tel: 604-986-7437


Twitter: @PinnaclePier

Advice: Located inside the Pinnacle Pier Hotel.

Bread Basket

Warm Fig and Shallot Goat’s Cheese Tart

Phyllo Crusted Baked Brie

Overlooking Burrard inlet and the downtown Vancouver skyline, my friend Meena joined me for dinner and we were delighted with the many Ocean Wise seafood selections as well as their vegetarian choices. To start a bread basket arrived to the table with a delicious spread, then to begin our meal, I had the outstanding Warm Fig and Shallot Goat’s Cheese Tart ($10) mission figs, roasted shallot, and Okanagan Chevre and Meena had the Phyllo Crusted Baked Brie ($9) with mission fig and cherry compote, organic greens and passionfruit vinaigrette, served with fresh baguette.

Lobster Bisque with cinnamon crème

Cauliflower Soup

I then had the delicious Lobster Bisque with cinnamon crème ($8) and Meena had the delicious special soup of the day the Cauliflower Soup ($6).

Roasted Vancouver Island Sablefish

Roasted Tomato Penne

For our entrée I had the Roasted Vancouver Island Sablefish ($24) soy and brown sugar glaze with sautéed baby bok choy & ginger rice and my friend had the Roasted Tomato Penne ($15) with tomatoes, roasted garlic, olive oil, baby spinach and feta cheese.

Hazelnut Tart

Espresso pot du creme, chocolate mousse

Apple Tart

For dessert I had the Hazelnut Tart ($8) which I didn’t care for and the Espresso pot du creme, chocolate mousse ($8) and Meena had the best dessert of the night, the Apple Tart ($8) topped with vanilla ice cream. The service was terrific, and our server was helpful in assisting Meena with Vegetarian options.

Review By: Richard Wolak

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