No. 40: Savio Volpe
SAVIO VOLPE’S FANTASTICAL FRONT DOOR—ABOUT 12 FEET TALL WITH A BRASS KNOCKER PLACED HIGH OUT OF REACH—SAYS A LOT ABOUT VANCOUVER’S FAVOURITE NEW ITALIAN RESTAURANT.
Had this classic osteria launched downtown, it still would have ranked as a giant among equals. Located, as it is, at the busy working-class intersection of Fraser and Kingsway, the clever fox (as its name means in translation) has swiftly leaped beyond its initial billing as a casual neighbourhood joint to become one of the hottest destinations in town, with a forever-full reservation list. The buzz began early due to the reputation of the proprietors: general manager Paul Grunberg (L’Abattoir), chef Mark Perrier (CinCin, Cibo) and designer Craig Stanghetta (Kissa Tanto, Bao Bei, Ask For Luigi, etc.). But then the crowds quickly warmed to the comfortably gorgeous room with its convivial antipasto bar in the centre and open kitchen boasting a grapevine-burning wood grill (a rarity in Vancouver).
They swooned over exceptionally silky bagna cauda and the retro garlic bread wrapped in tinfoil. They fell hard for the fresh handmade pasta. They lapped up the charred tendrils of octopus massaged in spicy ’nduja, the crispy-skinned rotisserie chickens and the hulking, grass-fed veal chops kissed by smoke. With polished hawk-eyed service, a well-curated yet accessible wine list and on-point aperitifs, there is much to admire about this sophisticated city slicker posing as a cheerful country cousin. If only it were easier to secure a table.
Monday to Sunday
5:00 PM until 10:30 PM
IMAGES COURTESY OF SAVIO VOLPE