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fussydinerVancouverSince December 5, 20073 Reviews
Average Rating
3.5 (3.5)
  • Food3.5 (3.7)
  • Service3 (3)
  • Value3 (3)
  • Ambiance3.5 (3.7)

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 3 of 3 Reviews Found
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La Rocca Ristorante Italiano1565 Commercial, Vancouver
Always An Execellent Choice For Italian Cuisine
Submitted Sunday, February 28, 2010 - 3:28pm [Dine in]

Unless you live in the eclectic neighborhood around the main drag of Commercial Drive, you might never really notice La Rocca, a family-owned trattoria style Italian eatery, a few blocks from East 1st and Commercial. It's intimate, inviting and romantic, without being pretentious or artificial. There are touches of personal art works and a wall mural replicating a town near Florence. Ask the owner about a quirky detail of the mural, should you ever get the chance to sample this wonderful Napoli-style restaurant.

The cosy bar consists of two small areas, the front of which is grotto-like-- great for people watching. The second section is where the actual bar counter is, complete with leather bar chairs. From here, you can see into the kitchen and watch the chefs scrambling about to fulfill orders.

The menu offers a varied selection in each category, from antipasti to dolce (starters/desserts). You'll certainly be spoiled for choice, which means you might have a hard time deciding what to order, like I did.

I started the meal off with a glass of Sangiovese red wine and a Pear and Gorgonzola Salad with Candied Walnuts with spring greens and orange vinaigrette. On that evening, I requested bocconcini instead of the gorgonzola, which was my mistake. The sharpness of the gorgozola definitely would have been a better pairing with the crisp ripe sweetness of the anjou pear. I suppose I was feeling more in the mood for a lighter and creamier cheese, which ended up being fine, just not as spectacular as the gorgonloza would have been. The candied walnuts was a nice accent and there's nothing better than a honey roasted nut to add some sweet crunchiness to a salad like this one. The orange vinaigrette was light without being overly tangy--an excellent match with the salad.

On the evening I visited, they had sold out of veal, a very popular choice. Upon the owner/manager's suggestion, which I'm glad I followed, I ordered the Prosciutto Wrapped Halibut. The tender and moist, yet firm, white fillet came encrusted in moderately salty and and crispy prosciutto. It was simply the best fish I'd had in a long while. Not overdone, it was truly moist and lightly savory, with the prosciutto imparting a delicate seasoning note to the freshness of the halibut. The entrees came with roasted potato nuggets and fresh steamed, tender crisp vegetables of the day--which happened to be broccoli and sweet baby carrots. My only complaint here is that I wish they'd added an extra nugget or two of potato and an extra two flowerets of the broccoli. Nonetheless, it's not a deal breaker.

To round off my meal, I'd ordered espresso and a slice of Italian Orange Ricotta Cheesecake. I originally wanted to try the house-made tiramisu, but instead was suggested to try the cheesecake that evening, instead. I'm glad I did. I guess the tiramisu would have to wait for a return visit. The cheesecake, being made with ricotta instead of cream cheese, was truly a taste of italian dolce. The zestiness of the orange was very pronounced and the cheesecake was very light and almost creamy souffle and cake-like. It's now one of my favorite desserts.

The Sangiovese red I'd ordered to accompany the meal was a suitable match (inspite of having fish) as it was sweet, with notes of cherry, cinnamon and black pepper. I'm normally not a fan of italian wines but this one was my favorite, by far, and I've since consistently ordered it whenever I dine at La Rocca.

The service was hospitable and friendly, though at times, it was hard to get the attention sitting at the bar. My subsequent visits would prove much better in this department.

All in all, it was a real splurge and treat, salad, entree, dessert, coffee, glass of wine and tip came to about $65. Definitly not cheap but worth every single hard-earned dining dollar and far cheaper than a trip to the old country. You can have a little or a lot, and I certainly did have more than my fair share! I was more than satisfied and I'll be back.

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Closed
La Rocca Ristorante Italiano1565 Commercial, Vancouver
hidden gem further down the Drive
Submitted Saturday, January 2, 2010 - 4:13am [Dine in]

Unless you live in the eclectic neighborhood around the main drag of Commercial Drive, you might never notice La Rocca, a family-owned trattoria style Italian eatery. It's intimate, inviting and romantic, without being pretentious or artificial. There are touches of personal art works and a wall mural replicating a town near Florence. Ask the owner about a quirky detail of the mural, should you ever get the chance to sample thise wonderful restaurant.

The cosy bar consists of two small areas, the front of which is grotto-like and is great for people watching. The second section is where the actual bar counter is, complete with leather mid-height stools. From here, you can see into the kitchen and watch the chefs scrambling about to fulfill orders.

On the evening I visited, they had sold out of veal. The menu offers a varied selection in each category, from antipasti to dolce (starters/desserts). Upon the owner/manager's suggestion, which I'm glad I followed, I ordered the Halibut

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Closed
Bella Candela109 West Esplanade, North Vancouver
A Unique Gem Worth More than One Visit
Submitted Monday, May 26, 2008 - 3:36am [Dine in]

Bella Candela is one of the North Shore's most unique restaurants I've ever been to. Living in the Tri-Cities area, I don't venture off the beaten path for an eatery unless it's absolutely recommended. In this case, a friend tipped me off to this diamond in the rough. So, to find that Bella Candela is conveniently located with only a three minute walk from Seabus or one minute from the Lonsdale Quay market was a bonus. If I had a car, parking would have been no problem with street-side or an adjacent parking lot behind the restaurant (caters to LoLo's restaurant and the market district, accessible only from Carrie Cates Court or Rogers).

From the moment you walk through the door, you enter another world. The restaurant is housed in a loft-like space in a heritage building reminiscent of San Francisco's Marina District, Gastown, or New York's SoHo Village. The red brick walls are adorned with paintings by a local artist formerly from Mexico, one of the visual characteristics in Bella Candela's Latin-inspired theme. The restaurant is spacious and airy due to the high ceilings and large floor to ceiling windows that flank the front and rear of the dining rooms, letting in plenty of light during the day.

My latest visit was for brunch and I tried the Chila Quiles, a new breakfast entree consisting of crispy-fried tortilla strips coated in a smoky chili sauce, sour cream and green onions, topped with two crispy-around-the-edges-but-creamy-centered eggs over-easy. Mexican comfort breakfast food at its finest. I decided to order the Pepper Flank Steak as an accompaniment. I was not disappointed. I had forgotten to indicate how well-cooked I wanted my steak and had to have it re-grilled to my preferred doneness. At fist glance, it seemed a bit pricy but the plate was more than ample. I washed it all down with a latte sweetened with maple syrup. I left more than fulfilled. Other brunch items consisted of their version of Eggs Benny (Spinach, poached egg and hollandaise over toasted French baguette), unusual treatments for crepes, and a host of other egg entrees and breakfast pizzas (yup! you heard it right....).

Service this time was fine, though the busy server seemed to be the only one working the patio and dining room. So, I had to simply wait a bit longer than usual to have my coffee refilled.

My previous visit for dinner had me trying crab cakes, which were crispy on the outside and a little spicy but oh-so-good. The crab was sweet and flavorful. I just wished they had added in some cilantro. Crab cakes were served with a side of sweet and tangy mango chutney. The tortelini wtih roasted chicken in a cream sauce was rich and specked with sun-dried tomato. The parmeggiano regiano cheese flaked over the top really catapulted the dish into the culinary stratosphere.

That visit, the restaurant was not so busy and the server able to spend more time serving us.

There were so many new-to-me items like the stuffed portobello mushroom cap with crab and cream cheese or ceviche that I'll have to go back again. I would definitely recommend going with a few friends and then sharing the dishes in order to get a better idea about what the restaurant offers.

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