Ask For Luigi has been one of the most talked about restaurants in town for a while and it was high time that I tried it out. They only take reservations for time slots between 5:30-6pm so we did not end up getting one. I got there around 6:20pm and was told that the wait would be about an hour and they were pretty spot on with that. The interior is pretty small I think there were only 12 tables that seat 2 or 4 people.
We shared an appetizer which was the Crispy Polenta with Taleggio Cheese on some marinara/tomato sauce. The outside looked a bit like fried tofu covered with cheese. The outside was crispy and the inside was soft with some mild flavour from the cheese.
The special of the day was Gnocchi with Rabbit. The gnocchi was pillowy soft and slightly chewy and while the rabbit meat was tender and had that pulled meat texture.
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I had orgininally planned on visiting Haezuk, a pirate themed Korean Japanese fusion restaurant but it turns out they were closed for renovations even though it seemed like they had opened recently. Anyway, Stepho’s was conveniently located around the corner and there wasn’t much of a line up for lunch so we went there instead.
We decided to all share a Calamari as an appetizer. It was presented with a small size of Greek salad, banana pepper and a lemon wedge. The appetizer portion wasn’t that big compared to the entrees. For another extra $3, you can get the rice, Greek salad, potatoes and a larger portion of calamari for the entree version. Taste wise it was not bad.
This was the Small Lamb Souvlaki platter. A small just means you get one skewer while a large means you get two. It came with the usual rice pilaf, roasted potatoes and Greek salad. My co worker seemed satisfied with everything. My other co worker also ordered this and she got a piece of pita bread to go with it but that was after all our food arrived and hers didn’t…
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My friend came back from Toronto and we had a get together at Basil Pasta Bar. You can customize your own pasta and choose the type of noodles, meat, vegetables, sauce and toppings! Or you can choose some of their house specials too. The interior is quite small though but kinda cozy?
My friend had fettucine with carbonara sauce, bacon, chorizo, broccoli, mozzarella cheese and parsley.
This had fussili, bolognese sauce, chorizo, some vegetables I’m not sure of, no cheese and parsley.
Mine had penne, pesto cream, parsley, spinach, corn, zucchini, red onions, mozzarella cheese and parsley. The pasta was al dente and there was a good amount of sauce and ingredients. Yum! All of the DIY pastas are only $7.95!!! That’s a super great deal! The portions were pretty big and filling and you can make anything you want! I’m definitely coming back again. All my carb and pasta cravings were satisfied and there must be something you like here! It’s nothing fancy but there’s a lot of variety! Apparently you can also order online.
My friend and I were originally going to try Ask for Luigi to catch up but we realized they were closed on Tuesdays when we tried to make a reservation. Then I suggested Twisted Fork since I haven’t tried it yet and when we got there we realized it was Mussel Tuesdays! 1lb of mussels and fries for $8! That’s a great deal since it’s usually $16.
We received some complimentary bread with our meal and this was brought at the same time as our entrees. They gave us a generous portion for two people.
We shared the Cured BC Duck Breast with potato puree, green beans, cherry chutney and duck jus. The duck was not too salty but maybe it would be if I ate the whole plate. The potato tasted quite plain though even with the duck jus since the duck jus wasn’t that heavy. The beans were also rather bland so the duck was really the star of the show. It helped balance the flavours more.
Here are the Mussels and Fries! This was actually my first time trying mussels and fries. My family just doesn’t eat mussels much so it just never appealed to me that much. I’m really glad we ordered it though! The mussels were served with a delicious cream sauce mixed with herbs and small pieces of tomato. The sauce was the best part! The fries were also delicious and tasted really good with the sauce too. In fact the sauce was so good we used it to give the potato puree from the duck entree some flavour! I’m definitely coming back for Mussel Tuesdays! Since this is the first time I’ve had mussels and fries I don’t have anything to compare it to but it was good for my first time!
Moving on to dessert now! We also shared the Ricotta Cheesecake. It’s topped with strawberry rhubarb compote and mint and garnished with some raspberries. I love how they have the twisted fork design in the powdered sugar on the plate. Super cute. The cheesecake was quite light and the base was really soft too. The strawberry rhubarb blended in really nicely with the cheesecake.
We also shared another dessert, the Chocolate Terrine. This is a frozen dark chocolate mousse with raspberry sorbet and almond tuile. I have no idea what almond tuile is and I did not really notice it in the dessert. The chocolate was cold but not really hard and it was very smooth and dark. The tangy raspberry sorbet was needed to provide some contrast to the dessert. I can’t decide which dessert I like better! Both were good choices. Ok maybe I’m slightly biased to the chocolate terrine since it has chocolate =P
I was not disappointed with my visit! I’m going to introduce my friends to Mussel Tuesdays! Also please note if your whole party has not arrived yet they won’t seat you. We got this comfy corner at the very back and there were cushions and it was super cozy!
For my friend’s birthday, we decided to go somewhere fancier and we went to Italian Kitchen. Yes this is what I consider fancy and I know not everyone will agree haha It was my first time here. We were seated upstairs by the window and it was much quieter upstairs compared to downstairs because that’s where their open kitchen is.
We started by sharing the Bruschetta Sampler. It had three kinds of brushchetta (from left to right): pesto with fior di latte (fancy huh?), tomato basil, and chickpea. The flatbread was served slightly warm and the texture was just right, not too soft or hard. I was not particularly fond of the bruschetta and I don’t have much experience with it. With that being said, I found it a bit…boring? The flavours were just not exciting or special. It was alright for an appetizer meant to be shared and the only problem I had was with the tomatoes which completely fell off. >.> They should probably make some sort of paste so that the tomatoes will actually adhere to the flat bread. The chickpea one was the best. The pesto was not bad either and the fior di latte which I assume is some kind of cheese was mild in flavour.
I also decided to order a non-alcoholic drink. This is the Lychee Rosa with some lychee, strawberry and bubbly soda. The flavours were nice and the lychee was evident but there was a lot of ice so the drink was diluted quickly. =(
For our entrees we had the Pappardelle with lamb sausage, potatoes, cabbage peperoncino and olive oil. This was really good! There was a bit of spiciness in the sauce and the noodles were al dente and the portion was not bad. However, this dish was super oily from the olive oil though and it made the noodles very slippery!
Our other entree was the Veal Milanese. Despite the size and the delicious looking breading infused with herbs and spices, it actually did not have that much flavour. At least it wasn’t dry though. Under the slab of meat were some veggies like carrots and string beans and potatoes to balance out the meal. The veggies were bland as well but it must be healthier that way right?
We were super full after, especially from the bruschetta! I wouldn’t get the bruschetta again though and maybe I’ll stick to their pastas. Service was good and they even have a coat check too.
My BFF <3 from Toronto came back so we met up for lunch at Anton’s! Thankfully there was no line up at 1pm and the restaurant was only half full. My first visit to Anton’s was over two years ago now so I can’t quite remember what the food tasted like. The only thing I remembered was the giganormous portions and that’s what they’re famous for. Anton’s is in North Burnaby and it took me an hour to bus there! The decor inside had a homey feel to it but it was nothing fancy.
Excuse my horrible yellow photos, apparently my camera was on some kind of weird setting I didn’t know about. Oops! ><
We were given some free bread to start off with but neither of us touched it since we knew we were going to be really full from the pasta. We had intended to eat it after but we had room so I can’t comment on the bread. There is also a minimum charge of $8 per person so we decided to share a pasta and a dessert to fulfill that requirement.
All pastas are $12.75 for lunch unless otherwise specified. The pastas are divided by the type of sauce used in it such as red sauce, white sauce, clear sauce etc. They also have a selection of stuffed pastas and vegetarian pastas We chose the Penne Mezza Luna with Italian sausage & pancetta in an olive tomato sauce. I’ve always preferred red sauces and who doesn’t love anything with Italian sausage right? Our server asked if we wanted any pepper on our pasta and we said yes. She kept going for longer than we expected before we realized we had to ask her to stop. First of all I thought that the penne was really thick and a bit chunky. It was also on the soft side and not quite al dente either. Otherwise it was alright and the sausage gave the pasta a bit of a kick or it could have been the black pepper we had sprinkled on top. The pasta was rather mediocre due to the noodles they used so I think this is somewhere you would go for quantity over quality.
Then we had our Tiramisu which turned out to be huge too! It also came with copious amounts of whipped cream. I was so glad we were sharing this. The cake was moist and spongey but the bottom layer was soaked in waaay too much espresso. It was pretty much soggy. =S I’m not too picky with cakes but this was probably the worse tiramisu I’ve ever had. They probably didn’t make the cake in house though and they’re not known for desserts anyway so I shouldn’t complain too much…
Anton’s is somewhere you go for quantity over quality. It’s definitely a good spot for a cheap lunch or dinner but you can get better quality pasta elsewhere. Also I don’t think it’s worth the hype and lineups at night either. If you want to try it, go during lunch times and skip dessert!