No. 34: Cioppino’s
No other restaurant in town delivers luxurious Italian dining—and drinking—of such estimable range, passion and authenticity.
Having been recognized last year with a three-fork designation from Gambero Rosso (the Italian equivalent of the Michelin Guide), it is also one of the few Italian restaurants in North America that stays current with dining trends in Italy, where international influences play prominently, and strives to deliver more than just traditional fan favourites. While pappardelle with four-hour-braised veal cheeks, spaghetti alle vongole and linguine all’aragosta never come off the menu, the best way to enjoy Cioppino’s is to ask for the daily changing chef’s menu. This is where chef-owner Pino Posteraro, a Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy, really stretches his creative flair with Asian-Mediterranean innovations such as octopus XO sauce accompanying sublime Hokkaido scallops, and deconstructed paella with olive and sesame tapenade.
Not beholden to local procurement trends, the chef is only interested in the best. If that happens to be local spot prawns in their season (lightly charred with fritto cucumber sprouts) or hand-harvested B.C. scallops (seared and bedecked with Northern Divine caviar), fine. But also expect Nova Scotia lobster with smoked uni beignets and Spanish turbot showered with white Alba truffles. In fact, there are few better places to find yourself during white truffle season. The wine list is magnificently deep and something of a magnet for the expense account. Service is highly professional. After many permit delays, the Yaletown room will finally undergo a major $1.5-million renovation this year.
Photos by : Milk Creative Communications