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La Quercia breeds a goose named Oca

Vancouverites already hooked on the tradition-driven simplicity of Adam Pegg’s La Quercia in Kitsilano have something to look forward to with the launch of its pastaficio offspring, Oca.

The new, minimalist, 22-seat pasta bar on Commercial Drive in East Vancouver opens today.  

“It will be a pasta showcase,” says chef Pegg. “We’ll be making all the pasta daily, à la minute. Nothing will be rushed.”

Expect a range of four daily pastas, one risotto, salumi, salads and gelato— nothing more, nothing less. The kitchen will be helmed by Greg Dilabio, a La Quercia veteran who recently completed a second three-month stage in Carezza (near Trento, in Trentino-Alto Adige) with Pegg’s same slow food mentor, a specialist in local cuisine named Fiorenzo Varesco. Dilabio will manage with three chefs and just one front-of-house employee. Customer interaction will, for the most part, be direct with the cooks, for no one is better equipped to explain the nuances of burrata-filled tortellini, lightly dressed for peak summer in tomato water, or hand-rolled garganelli alla carbonara, or strangolapreti with bread crumbs and spinach.

Oca means goose, which from the Italian point of view suggests a festive family meal. “We thought it communicated the significance of gathering at the family table,” Pegg says. And having sampled La Quercia’s pasta many times, we are keenly looking forward to eating at its expanded restaurant family table at Oca very soon.

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