IN A CITY NOT LACKING FOR EXCELLENT PASTA, Oca Pastificio nevertheless made an incomparably grand first impression when it opened in December 2019. Despite barely having a moment to find its footing before the pandemic struck, the cramped 20-seat space and a contentious (to some) no-reservations policy, diners immediately flocked from across Vancouver and beyond to claim a table at this passionate shrine to starch. Credit co-owners Greg Dilabio (chef) and Antoine Dumont (front-of-house) — mutual alumni of C100B honouree La Quercia — for not taking half measures in anything they do. The menu changes daily to reflect the best available produce, pasta is extruded shortly before service, and chances are you’ll see Dilabio cutting that pasta to order à la minute. Salumi, salads and risotto are held to the same lofty standards. Service is as relaxed as the food is reverent. Now that Covid appears to finally be in retreat, Dumont says not much will change at Oca, save for some new recipes (including increased use of B.C. seafood) and the opening of a patio that accommodates a further six eager patrons.
A fresh, focused, precise, dedicated and specialized pasta menu”