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VJBabbotsfordSince December 19, 2006171 Reviews
Average Rating
3 (3)
  • Food3 (3)
  • Service3 (3.1)
  • Value3 (2.8)
  • Ambiance3 (3)

Reviews

Displaying 61 - 80 of 171 Reviews Found
Dinakis Mediterranean Grill2020 Oxford Connector, #101, Port Coquitlam
Decent but not memorable
Submitted Monday, July 4, 2011 - 12:03pm [Dine in]

Ambiance is decent. We found the service to be okay, nothing exceptional but it was okay. The server didn't do anything other than what would be expected. No small talk, no refill of the water and the food was just kind of plopped on the table when it came. Wine prices are very good. We had a bottle of pinot grigio and it was $20.00. The calamari we shared was good. It was hot and a decent size serving. For our entrees my husband had the barbecue spareribs and I had New York strip loin. The meat on the entrees were very good and a decent size serving. The steak was $20.95 and for the price it was beautifully cooked and well seasoned. Unfortunately the side dishes were abysmal. The Caesar salad was wilted and not cold like a salad should be. It was almost like it sat around at room temperature all day. The garlic mashed potatoes had a strange yellow colour and were not nice and fluffy like mashed potatoes should be.

All in all it was a decent restaurant but there many better Greek and Mediterranean restaurants around. It's unlikely that we would return.

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Diva at The Met645 Howe Street, Vancouver
What there was was very good.
Submitted Sunday, June 19, 2011 - 3:28pm [Dine in]

I was a bit disappointed in Diva at the Met. We were there for our anniversary last evening.

The food itself was very good but we found the portions to be somewhat skimpy. The waitress bought us an amuse bouche to start. Since my husband had ordered halibut for his entree she arranged for the kitchen to give him an goat cheese starter while she presented me with a small piece of fried halibut. Both were very good. We shared the lobster gnocchi as an appetizer. It was $18.00. The dish we absolutely delicious. There were a couple of generous pieces of lobster but there were only 12 small gnocchi. Come on now how expensive is gnocchi and at $18.00 for the plate there should be more. For our entrees I had the thyme roasted chicken and my husband had the special of the day - halibut with olive mash. The halibut was supposed to come with fava beans but when hubby mentioned that he did not like fava beans our waitress said he could substitute whatever he would like for the fava beans. He substituted asparagus and was very pleased with his dish. The halibut was pan seared and served with a buerre blanc sauce and morel mushrooms. Perfectly cooked. The serving was very small however, there was probably only 4 oz. of halibut. I was very disappointed with my chicken. It was very well prepared but the menu said roast chicken so I was expecting more than 1/2 a chicken breast (maybe about 4 to 5 oz.) served with a side salad and no starch. Generally with roast chicken, you get at least 1/4 of a chicken and usually more than that. When we finished our appetizer and entrees hubby said he was too hungry to just share a dessert like we usually do so we both had the chocolate souffle with pistachio ice cream. Dinner consisted of 1 appetizer, 2 entrees, 2 desserts, 1/2 bottle of wine and was $126.00 before tip. I would have rated the value higher than a 3 if the servings were more substantial.

Service was very good. Our waitress was great with making substitutions for us. Wine and water was topped up and she was very good with checking up to see how the food was.

The ambiance is very nice. We had a table looking into the open kitchen so we could see all the dishes as they came out. The lighting at our table was a bit dim so I had to pull out a little flash light so I could read the menu.

I would probably give it another try but there are many restaurants that I feel provide better value. We're usually pretty full after sharing an appetizer and each having an entree. Neither one of us has a hugh appetite so maybe they've cut back on their portions since some of the previous reviews that I've read.

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Mangia E Bevi2222 Marine Drive, West Vancouver
A great evening in West Vancouver
Submitted Monday, May 16, 2011 - 11:25am [Dine in]

When we made our reservations we were told that they needed our table back by 8:00. There was no problem. We were not rushed during dinner, we were able to relax between courses and we were out of there with plenty of time to spare.

The ambiance could be a bit more upscale but I always go for the food and the food here is really good. In fact the food and service we received from our knowledgable server (Tanya) more than compensates for the informal ambiance.

Our server was amazing. I asked about a pasta dish that was not on the menu - spaghetti Bevi and she said that it was available but not on the menu because many people are aware of it and know they can order it. This dish is spaghetti with ground chicken, black beans and a slightly spicy tomato based sauce. It was absolutely amazing. Tanya, had a very good understanding of the wine list and was able to give us very detailed information about the dishes on the menu. The wine and water was constantly topped up and she checked after each dish to see how we were doing.

For an appetizer my husband and I shared the spaghetti Bevi. For entrees he went with the Pistachio crusted black cod topped with a red pepper sauce and served with parmesan rissoto and I had the cornish game hen. The servings are very generous. The black cod was nice and moist and full of flavour. My cornish game hen was very juicy but the skin on it was nice and crisp. It was absolutely delicious. For dessert we shared the warm pear tart with pistachio ice cream. Entrees range in price from $27.00 - $34.00.

It was a great evening out. This restaurant is not inexpensive but for the quality of the food and the service it is fair value. We will definitely be returning.

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Closed
Le Bistro de Paris751 Denman, Vancouver
This is like the Cafe de Paris used to be
Submitted Monday, March 14, 2011 - 12:31pm [Dine in]

We had avoided Cafe de Paris for a long time because it just didn't offer value anymore. The prices had gone up and the quality of the food had declined. Not a good combination. It was unfortunate since it used to be one of our favorites.

We were going to be in town on Saturday and my husband suggested it since he had heard that it had new owners. I'm so glad we went back to give it another try.

It was an absolutely exceptional evening. The manager recognized us from previous visits and came over to greet us and welcome us back. The owner was at the door when we came in, he told us that he had just called us at home because he thought we were late but it turns out he had written the wrong time down. Our waitress - Melanie was an absolute delight. She could not possibly be the rude waitress referred to by a previous diner. Melanie was cheerful and thoroughly professional. Throughout the evening we were treated very well with great service.

I love the ambiance of the place. It has not changed since it used to be Cafe de Paris. It feels like a nice warm French bistro (what a surprise). Tables are nicely spaced so you can have a nice private conversation. They have a 3 course set menu for $30.00 that I ordered from. My husband opted to order a la carte. I started off with the lobster bisque. It was a very generous serving of soup with plenty of lobster. My husband had a salad with mesclun greens, honeyed beets and pecan crusted goat cheese. It was really superb. The goat cheese added so much flavour to the salad. The choice of entrees on the 3 course prix fix were chicken, short ribs with pasta or salmon in bernaise sauce. I opted for the salmon. It was absolutely mouth watering, so nice and moist and the sauce complimented it nicely. My husband had the chicken with peppercorn sauce and it was also well prepared. The skin was nice and crispy but the chicken still moist. The peppercorn sauce was nice and spicy. The dinner was accompanied by french fries. For dessert we shared the creme brulee that came with my 3 course menu. It was a very generous delicious serving and easily served the 2 of us. For the quality of food, ambiance and service Le bistro de Paris offers exceptional value and we will definitely return.

Highly recommended.

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Closed
Edge Bistro, The3135 Edgemont Blvd, North Vancouver
I agree - it's good but not great
Submitted Sunday, March 13, 2011 - 2:00pm [Dine in]

We had dinner here on a rainy Friday night. The room is lovely with orange red walls, nice paintings on the wall and a room with subdued lighting i.e. not bright but not so dark that you can't read the menu. It was a very busy evening and the wait staff were kept very busy.

There is a tremendous mark up on their wines. We had a half bottle of J. Lohr red and it was $29.00. We're aware the of prices on many of the wine since we have bought many of them on our trips through the Okanagan and their profit margin is very hefty.

The food was good, not exceptional. We shared an appetizer of mussels in a chile cream sauce and it was very well prepared. It was nice and spicy and the mussels were plump and flavourful. For dinner hubby had the veal scallopine with mushrooms and I had beef tenderloin with a peppercorn sauce. We both substitued pasta for the potatoes and vegetables at an additional charge of $4.50. The veal my husband had was tasty, the penne arribiata that he had requested as a substitute was super spicy. He really enjoyed it. My beef tenderloin was a very generous serving. I gave a very generous amount to my husband and I still couldn't finish my steak. I had requested my steak rare and it was more of a medium rare but it was not overcooked enough that I felt I should sent it back. It was good but seemed to be lacking any seasoning other than the peppercorn sauce.

One policy Edge Bistro has that I do not agree with is the charge for spliting dishes - $2.00 for appetizers and $4.00 for pasta and entrees. The mussel appetizer was $18.00 which I felt was a bit on the high end. Usually in places that are bistros you can get mussels and frites as an entree for this price.

I might return if I was in the area or dining companions wanted to try this restaurant but there are so many really good Italian restaurant in the lower mainland that this would not be first on my list.

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Matisse512 Yates St, Victoria
I would rate ambiance higher if we weren't sitting by the kitchen door
Submitted Wednesday, March 9, 2011 - 12:56pm [Dine in]

This was a special birthday celebration. My husband took me away for a weekend get away and he made reservations at Matisse for dinner.

The ambiance would have been very nice if we had a different table but it is really distracting when the kitchen door is right beside you and it is being opened and closed all night. My husband asked if we could have another table but we were told that nothing else was available.

The service was okay. The host is very good with explaining all the dishes and how they are prepared. We had to top up the wine frequently ourselves. This should not happen with the prices that are being charged. One of the reviews commented on the white wine being warm by the time the entree was served. We had to request a wine bucket to keep the wine cold otherwise we would have had the same problem. An ice bucket is something that be presented automatically with white wine. We shared a appetizer of crepe of the day - white asparagus, bacon, spinach?? and cheese. It was very good and the serving was very generous. For entrees my husband had fish or the day (I forget what it was) topped with crabmeat. It was well prepared and very tasty. I went with the rack of lamb - 6 pieces of lamb perfectly prepared medium rare as requested. It was one of the better rack of lamb dishes that I've had. We split a creme brulee for dessert. The topping was nicely carmelized but not too hard.

It was a lovely evening but if we had a different table and the service was a bit better it would have been so much better.

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3rd Street Cafe2466 Beacon Ave, Sidney
Disappointing breakfast and lunch
Submitted Wednesday, March 9, 2011 - 12:17pm [Dine in]

We went to Victoria for the weekend and rather than eat on the ferry we decided to stop in Sidney for a late breakfast.

Hubby had done a google search for breakfast places and he came upon 3rd St. cafe. They were very busy. By the time we left there was a line up waiting to get in. Having eaten there I have to say that I'm not sure why. It was 11:00 and I didn't feel like breakfast so I asked if they had a lunch menu that I could order from. No problem, except that most of the lunch entrees were the same as what you would find on the breakfast menu. I guess the fact that they say all day breakfast should have clued me in.

My husband had the special omelette with Italian sausage, feta cheese, sundried tomatoes and mushrooms. I had a bite and to me the combination of ingredients did not blend together well. I think it would have been better with a different kind of cheese. It came with mushy fried potatoes that were distinctly lacking in flavour. I had a BLT. It came with a choice of french fries, soup or salad. It wasn't a bad sandwich but for $11.95 it is seriously overpriced. I mean it's not like I'm eating at some high end restaurant with great views, ambiance or decor.

We would not go back. We generally go to John's Place on Pandora St. in Victoria and they are much better value. The food is also much better and more reasonably priced for what you get.

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Keg Steakhouse & Bar, The2142 West Railway Street, Abbotsford
Typical Keg restaurant
Submitted Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - 11:55am [Dine in]

We don't often go to the Keg as we prefer independent restaurants over the chains. I did have a gift certificate that had been given to me and hubby did not feel like driving too far.

We were there early on Friday evening so we only had to wait 10 minutes for a table. Ambiance is typical of Keg restaurants - dimly lit and with a bit of a buzz from patrons enjoying their dinner. Service was okay. Not too bad but nothing extra done by our waiter. There was no feeling that he really enjoyed his job and wanted to see that you had a good dining experience.

We shared an appetizer of the prawns and they were very good. The bread that they served with the prawns was not very good though. It had the texture of a biscuit made with baking powder and was very dry, a really strange choice of bread for an appetizer with garlic butter. We both went with Keg classic dinners. I had the prime rib and my husband had the teriyaki sirloin. The dip for the prime rib was very salty. The food was okay but we can do better at home. I do like the wide selection of wines available by the glass and the choice of a regular size glass or keg size. The keg size is probably the equivalent of 2 glasses of wine. Wine prices are also reasonably priced. For dessert we shared a Billy Miner pie and I had a specialty coffee.

They are not exorbitantly priced but for the quality of food I feel that there is better value out there. I would probably only return if I was given another gift certificate as there are restaurants I enjoy more.

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Closed
RTL Regional Tasting Lounge1130 Mainland, Vancouver
So much potential
Submitted Monday, January 31, 2011 - 12:46pm [Dine in]

We decided to try RTL for dineout as the menu looked pretty good.

We arrived early yesterday evening and were seated promptly. We were the only ones in the restaurant for about an hour. The hostess gave us a prime seat right by the window. They have a fire glowing over crystals in a planter box and it gave off a really nice warm as well as being very pleasant to look at. The ambiance of the restaurant is nice and soothing. They have music playing but it is at a comfortable level and you do not need to shout in order to have a conversation.

Our server was really terrific. She came by to check after each course to see how everything was. When my husband asked if the lamb had dijon mustard she said that she would check before placing his order. We went with the 3 course dine out menu. I would say that the dine out menu is decent value for what we had but if we were paying regular prices I would feel it was very poor value. It's a good thing we had been visiting friends prior to coming for dinner and were not super hungry otherwise we would have gone away from a 3 course meal still feeling hungry and neither one of us has a huge appetite. For the appetizers my husband had the pork terrine and I had the crab and prawn cake. The crab and prawn cake came with a small salad. It was decent but certainly not worth what the regular price would have been. For the entrees my husband had the rack of lamb (3 small chops) with cous cous. Usually with rack of lamb you get a good 5 or 6 chops. I had the surf and turf. This had a 6 oz New York steak. It was a 6 oz New york and a small lobster tail. This was as expected since their menu did state that the steak was 6 oz. However I had ordered the steak rare and it came pretty close to being well done. It also had a sauce on it that was very astringent and it was a tough steak. It really needed to be worked with the steak knife. I would have sent it back but we had waited 1/2 an hour for it and the restaurant was busy by this time so I did not want to wait another 1/2 hour or more. I also had to request butter for the lobster tail as it was lacking sauce or seasoning of any sort. For dessert I had the chocolate terrine and my husband had gelato. The terrine was very good - dark, smooth and luscious. My husband had creme caramel ice cream as they were out of the saffron ice cream that is supposed to be on the dine out menu. Dinner for the 2 of us with 1 $28.00 dine out menu, 1 $38.00 dine out menu, 1 drink and 1 glass of wine was $94.00 before tip.

I might give this restaurant another try. I would go on a night when I'm not too hungry. They do change their menu frequently so you have to check their website to see what they have when you want to go.

This place has so much potential but rather than classifying their dishes as entrees they should really be called tapas and the prices adjusted accordingly. The quality of the food and portion size for the regular menu is definitely not is line with the prices.

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Original Joe's Restaurant & Bar2649 Trethewey Street, #101, Abbotsford
Good value and food
Submitted Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - 12:40pm [Dine in]

Original Joe's is part of a restaurant chain. I'd never heard of them before but they've opened in Abbotsford. We were looking for somewhere close to home where we could have a decent meal for a reasonable price. Original Joe's fit the bill perfectly. Abbotsford has a lack of decent restaurants so it was nice to discover OJ's.

They have about 6 or 7 TV's showing different sports programs so if you're looking for a quiet evening this is not the spot. The menu ranges from pizza to hamburgers, pasta and sandwiches to a few entrees such as fish and chips and spareribs. They had a special on pizza for $10.00 when we were there. I opted for the pizza and my husband had the half rack of ribs. The pizza was very good. The toppings were generous and the crust was not heavy and doughy. The ribs came with a choice of 2 sides and were also very good. Wine prices are also reasonable. The total bill for pizza, 1/2 rack of spareribs and 1/2 litre of wine with tip was $55.00. Fair value for the quality of food.

The service was decent. Our server was pleasant enough but she made a huge mistake. After we finished eating we looked at the dessert menu and decided that we would like to have dessert. We had not seen our waitress for awhile and my husband finally caught her eye. She did not come to the table to see what we wanted. My husband said that if she bought the bill we would just skip dessert and leave. Sure enough rather than asking if we wanted anything else she just presented the bill, hence no dessert for us, less money for the restaurant and less of a tip for our server.

It was a good evening out however and I would certainly recommend OJ's. I believe they have half off wine prices on Wednesday or Thursday.

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Red Card Sports Bar900 Seymour Street, Vancouver
Good for watching sports but food could be better
Submitted Monday, October 18, 2010 - 10:24am [Dine in]

This is probably one of the nicest sports bars that we've been to. Big screen TV's are everywhere so it is easy to see just about any sports event that is on. When we were there last night, the Canucks game, world series baseball and Sunday night football were all on. The ambiance is very nice for a sports bar. It's not dirty, dark and grungy like so many sports bars are.

We found the service to be truly amazing. We were seated promptly. The staff were all very friendly and cheerful. After we had ordered we were asked by at least 3 of the staff if everything was okay and if we were enjoying our meal.

We ordered the Hat Trick pizza. It was very good pizza but we've had better. We also shared a pasta. The serving size is very small. We are not big eaters. The pasta came in a large bowl and was stacked in the middle of the bowl. Our waitress had bought 2 small plates maybe 6" in diameter and we did not have enough pasta for 1 small plate each. For $15.00 it is very poor value.

We had an enjoyable evening. The staff were great, the food was tasty enough but there is way better pizza and pasta to be had elsewhere. For the prices that are charged we just did not feel it was good value for the money. We would not return.

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Pasta Lupino Gourmet4368 Main St., 121, Whistler
Good value in Whistler
Submitted Sunday, September 5, 2010 - 2:48pm [Dine in]

Most of the restaurants in Whistler seem to be very expensive. We were staying overnight in Whistler before returning home from vacation and we wanted something more substantial than pizza or a burger but we didn't want to spend $30.00 + for dinner.

Pasta Lupino was perfect for what we wanted. At dinner you can have your choice of pasta and sauce for $12.95, this includes a choice of Caesar or mixed green salad and also your pick from 3 different soups. The pasta is served with foccaccia bread. They also have 6 or 7 entrees priced around $15.95. These entrees also come with the same accompaniements. I had linguine with bolognese sauce and my husband opted for Hot Italian sausage with pasta. Both dishes were well prepared, the pasta was al dente and the serving was a decent size. For a small restaurant they also have a decent wine list. Dinner for the two of us with tip and a bottle of wine was $60.00.

The service was decent. The waitress was pleasant and seated us promptly and took our order and delivered our meal in a timely fashion.

It is a small cozy restaurant with wooden chairs and tables. They seem to do a pretty good take out business as well.

Recommended if you're in Whistler and do not wish to blow the wad at the high end restaurants.

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Closed
Ozark's Famous BBQ19696 Fraser Highway, Langley
Decent ribs. Do not order the chicken wings
Submitted Monday, July 19, 2010 - 11:14am [Dine in]

We went here for dinner on Friday night. My husband had the full rack of baby back ribs and I had the combo - 1/3 rack of baby back ribs and chicken wings. The ribs were very good and the portion was very generous. My husband ended up having to ask for a doggy bag to take home half of his ribs. The chicken wings were not so interesting. The wings were very small and very dry. I think they were overcooked. We had ordered cheese bread since were not aware that corn bread was served with the meal. When we received the corn bread we thought that it would be too much food so we called our waitress over to see if we could cancel the order. She told us that the order had already been placed so we told her it was okay, 5 minutes later she said that the owner told her it was okay to cancel the order if we didn't want the bread. I thought this was very good of them. The corn bread was delicious. It was very nice and had a bit of a kick to it - must have had peppers in it. The sides that came with the meal were very good. baked beans, coleslaw, + yam fries on my husbands order. It was decent value for the money. Next time I'll stay away from the chicken wings.

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Wah Wing Restaurant2748 Lougheed Highway, #207, Port Coquitlam
Very disappointing dinner
Submitted Sunday, July 4, 2010 - 1:56pm [Dine in]

We were in POCO Wednesday evening and hubby said that his brother gave the place a big thumbs up. I'm going to stop going to restaurants that my brother-in-law recommends.

We weren't extremely hungry so we just had 2 dishes and rice. Prawns in black bean sauce were lacking in flavour. The prawns were so bland and very unappealing. Beef and broccoli was mostly broccoli and not much beef. The beef that was used was a very poor quality beef.

The ambiance is very nice but when I go out to eat the food is number 1 and Wah Wing definitely does not deliver as far as food quality. Service was decent not outstanding. One thing I did find towards the end of our meal while my husband was still eating the waitress came and stood by our table and watched, she then took just a small step away but continued watching us (pressures on to hurry up and eat). As soon as my husband put his chopsticks down she swooped right in and cleared the table. I thought it was really rude especially since there was only one other table there.

There are way better restaurants around. For what we had I felt it was overpriced.

Not recommended.

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Pear Tree, The4120 Hastings Street, Burnaby
Very small menu
Submitted Sunday, June 13, 2010 - 10:57am [Dine in]

We were here to celebrate our anniversary. I had checked out their website but they did not give any prices. I called up and was told that prices of appetizers were $8.00 - $16.00 and entrees and main courses were $29.00 to $34.00. They also have a 3 course seasonal menu for $50.00 +. I agree with a previous comment that it is a very small menu. There are basically about 7 appetizers, 7 entrees and 4 desserts to choose from. The wine list is also very pricey.

The food was very good. I would not classify it as outstanding but it was good and about what I would expect for the prices that they charge. We shared a Caesar salad that was very good. It was not too heavy on the dressing and it was garnished nicely with parmesan crisps. For the entrees we both had a pork dish. My husband had the seasonal special of pork tenderloin and pork cheeks wrapped in potato crisp and eggplant. I had the pork belly in cassoulet. The entrees were beautifully plated. We were given a dish of fresh greens with the entrees. I think our server said that they were pea shoots. The entrees were both very well prepared and very flavourful. For dessert we shared the lemon tart. This is supposed to be a specialty of the restaurant. It was good but I was expecting better since it is supposed to be a dessert they are famous for. I've had lemon tarts that are just as good if not better elsewhere.

Service was very good. Our wine was topped up during the course of the evening and the water glasses were refilled when required.

It is a very small room with only 10 tables so reservations are definitely required. We were seated close to a table for 4 and it was difficult not to overhear their conversations and they were not talking loudly.

Overall it was a decent experience and I would probably try them again. I would just be prepared for the small somewhat limited menu next time.

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Pasparos Taverna132 W 3rd St, North Vancouver
Wonderful dining in the courtyard
Submitted Sunday, May 16, 2010 - 10:08am [Dine in]

It's been a couple of years since we've been to Pasparos Taverna. We were there on Friday night and had a fabulous meal in the courtyard. It's easy to imagine being on vacation in Greece with the sun beaming down and sipping a glass of wine. It was busy but the tables are nicely spaced so you can get lost in your own little world.

The food was very good. We shared the garlic prawns to start. There were six good sized prawns and we dipped pita bread into the garlic butter. My husband had the half chicken and I had the Greek style ribs. Both were very well prepared. The chicken skin was nice and crisp but the meat was moist. The Greek ribs were nicely seasoned. The entrees came with potato, rice, a carrot and green beans combination and Greek salad. The only issue I have with the food is that there was a $3.00 charge for the pita bread. It was very good pita bread but most Greek restaurants provide the pita at no additional charge. Wine prices were very reasonable.

Service was decent. Wine and water was topped up and our waiter did quality checks to ensure that everything was okay.

I loved dining in the courtyard. It was so airy and light. It was a great evening. We would definitely return.

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Pacifico Pizzeria & Ristorante970 Smithe Street, Vancouver
Great place for pasta and pizza
Submitted Sunday, April 18, 2010 - 2:13pm [Dine in]

We had a really great meal here earlier this week. It is very similar to Lombardo's and Marcello's. I guess that is because one of the previous owners was from Lombardo's. They do have a more extensive menu than Marcello's or Lombardo's and one of the options they provide is allowing you to pick your sauce match it with the pasta that you want.

My husband and I shared a small Versuvio thin crust pizza and a large order of penne with Italian sausage. We had more than enough food. The pizza was really delicious and the pasta was perfectly cooked. Our service was kind enough to tell us that the pepper on top of the pasta was meant as a garnish only and was extremely hot. The wine list is decently priced with a few wines starting at $28.00 and going up to $70.00.

Service was decent. The waiter did come and do a quality food check but he never did refill our water glasses or top up the wine.

For the quality of food the prices are fair. The ambiance is decent. The restaurant is nice and clean and it's not too noisy.

If you're in the downtown area it's definitely worth a visit.

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Five Corners Bistro15182 Buena Vista Ave, White Rock
Unexpected surprise. What a gem
Submitted Monday, April 12, 2010 - 11:38am [Dine in]

We were in White Rock yesterday shopping and we were going to go down to the downtown area to have dinner.

I remembered seeing the restaurant a few months ago when we went for dinner at Onyx and at the time I thought that it looked interesting. We drove past it and decided to stop and take a look at the menu they had posted in the window. It was an interesting menu. Appetizers were between $6.00 - $9.00 and entrees were mostly between $15.00 - $20.00 with a couple of items between $20.00 - $25.00. They had a few seafood dishes, steak, pasta, rack of lamb and whiskey jack spareribs. The spareribs sounded like they would be really good and the price was about $18.00 so we decided to give it a try.

The restaurant is very cozy, with nice linens on the table. The clientele seems to be mostly locals which is a good sign. We heard the lady behind us tell her guest that she had never had a bad meal at the restaurant. We ordered a bottle of wine with dinner $18.95, what a deal for a bottle of wine that most restaurants downtown charge considerable more for. The spareribs were absolutely amazing, so tender that the meat just fell off the bones and they were nice and spicey. We finished dinner off with a nice slice of homemade apple pie and ice cream. It was really good home cooking. It takes a little while for the food to get to your table so obviously it is not just nuked in the microwave.

Our waitress was absolutely amazing. It was busy for a Sunday night. There were maybe 20 customers in the restaurants. She was very pleasant with the customers that had been there before but she was also very attentive and attended to the needs of new clientele like ourselves with a sincere warmth that is often missing.

This place is a real gem. I just hope it doesn't get too busy now that I've posted this review.

Highly recommended. Oh another big plus free street parking is abundant.

Go try it. You'll like it.

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Italian Kitchen1037 Alberni Street, Vancouver
Great evening at Italian Kitchen
Submitted Tuesday, March 30, 2010 - 12:17pm [Dine in]

We were in the area and decided to try Italian Kitchen for dinner. We have been to Trattoria Italian Kitchen and since this restaurant belongs to the same group we decided to give it a try. They have a completely differnt menu than the Trattoria. Prices are slightly higher. We did not have a reservation but it was early on Saturday evening so there was no problem getting a seat.

Unlike a previous review I did not find the music too loud. I'm very sensitive to overly loud music but here I found it just provided a nice background and added to the ambiance. It is a very pleasant room and the tables are not crowded together so it is easy to talk to your companion.

We decided to try the meat and fish platter. It consisted of veal milanese, linguine carbonara, forno trout, crab stuffed prawns, fried broccoli and seasonal vegetables. The platter was a good size. There was certainly enough food. All of the food was very good but the trout was just decent. The trout was well prepared, nice and moist but it just seemed very bland. It could have used some seasoning or herbs to bring out the flavour. We shared a torta di cioccolato for dessert, basically a flourless chocolate cake with expresso gelato and pecan crocante. Very tasty.

The service that we received was absolutely amazing. We had ordered a bottle of wine. While he was taking food from the platter my husband hit the wine bottle that was sitting on the table and it toppled over. He managed to catch it but some of the wine spilled onto the floor and tablecloth. Our waiter hurried over, said "don't worry about it, just relax and enjoy the rest of your meal and we'll take care of the problem" They cleaned up the mess promptly, checked to be sure that none of the wine had spilt on us and gave us two additional glasses of wine to compensate us for the spilled wine. This is gesture that was very much appreciated, especially since the incident was our fault. It is the sort of gesture that ensures that we would return. Wine and water was topped up continuously during our meal. After we finished out entrees our waiter brought us the dessert menu. He waited a decent interval and asked if we wanted dessert. My husband said yes we would like dessert but we would like to relax over wine first. The waiter said no problem, when we're ready just turn over the menu and he'll come back to take our order. 2 minutes after we turned over the menu he was there to take our order. This waiter is a real gem. Absolutely exceptional service.

We'll definetly return. It was a great evening.

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Illuminate1077 56th St., #125, Delta
Illuminate has lost it's lustre
Submitted Monday, March 1, 2010 - 11:13am [Dine in]

We have been going to Illuminate for a number of years. We used to consider it a real gem but they have declined so much in the last year that we are removing them from our list of places to dine.

When we first started going the prices were reasonable. They are not in the busy downtown area so they were not charging downtown prices. They have adjusted their pricing and prices are now comparable to what you would pay at a top end restaurant like Il Giardino (our favorite). This may not be so hard to swallow if the quality of food, ambiance etc was in line with our experiences Il Giardino but it isn't. Over the last while they have cut down on the portions that they serve as well as raised the prices. This is not a good combination. As my husband said last night "If I'm going to pay the kind of money that Illuminate is charging now I'd rather go to Il Giardino." The Tuscan chicken used to be half a chicken, now it's just the chicken breast. When we were there just before New Year's I ordered the steak with peppercorn sauce. It was bland, bland, bland. For $34.00 it should be exceptional. When we mentioned it to the waiter (after dinner) as I didn't want to make a fuss he graciously compted us dessert. We decided to give them another try - maybe it was just an off night. Last night hubby had the chicken, he mentioned to the waiter that he was disappointed that it was no longer half chicken but is just the chicken breast, we were given a complimentary dessert again. I had the special of the day sablefish and it was perfectly cooked but the only accompaniment was beans, beans and more beans (not very interesting). This place has gone so far downhill that we will not return.

The service is okay. Our waiter did not mention one of the specials of the day. I heard another waiter telling his table about the special and it was something I would have ordered (maybe it had something other than beans served with it). Our water was not refilled and we had to top up the wine ourselves on occasion. This is on an evening that was not busy. There also was no quality check it was left up to us to mention that we were disappointed with the accompaniments and the changes to the chicken. When we mentioned it our waiter said that he thought the chicken was better the way it used to be. Why mess with success?

The ambiance is nice but certainly it is not of a calibre that justifies the prices they are now charging.

It's too bad, we used to really enjoy this restaurant. Not recommended.

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