Cioppino’s is an award winning Italian and Mediterranean restaurant specializing in fresh ingredients. Executive Chef owned and operated.
Oh my goodness, this meal was incredible. My buddy Josh was leaving town and I thought I would take him out for a good lunch as our last meal.
Cioppino / Enoteca in Yaletown has always been one of my favorites. If you drink wine then you are in luck because they have a huge wine list.
My buddy decided to rinse the pennies out of me and decided to order a salad. I guess he is one of those guys that when you say you will buy him lunch he decides to order an appetizer with his meal and an expensive drink although you never seen him eat an appetizer before. The salad was great, not oily, and really fresh tasting. It was a baby lettuce salad mixed with herbs, pear, stilton and honey lemon dressing for ten dollars. A perfect starter. I didn't want the bill to run up so I decided to sit awkwardly while he ate in front of me.
For lunch I ordered the pasta for 30 dollars, it was a garganelli in a red sauce with lobster and crab. This pasta blew my mind, so good!!!!!! There were large pieces of both crab and lobster, and the red sauce was amazing. The sauce was rich but so flavourful.
My buddy ordered the veal, I wasn't loving it but he said he enjoyed it. My pasta kicks his dishes ass, too bad I had to pay for them both.
Bottom line, if you want to spend a bit of money and have a nice meal, this is the place to go. The food is insane. Never had or heard a complaint from all the times I have been there. It has to be one of Vancouver's best.
Cioppino's Mediterranean Grill
1133 and 1129 Hamilton Street
pictures can be found on
what a great experience, our servers were knowledgeable, made good suggestions, and had excellent timing. The complimentary bread and pate was an appetizing start to our meal, both were also replenished long before we ran out. My honey started with a grilled Caesar salad which was artfully presented and topped with freshly shaved Parmesan, for our entrees we had pasted with braised veal cheeks and Porcini mushroom and Osso Bucco with risotto, both were delicious. We finished with a lemoncello cheesecake with an odd crunchy topping which did grow on us but while pleasing to the eye didn't initially sit well on the pallet. All in all an excellent experience that was worth the price.
I'm straying from the pack here as i found this place to be less than stellar. Room and greetings are typical of this warm, old world style place and you gotta luv the chef wandering about in his whites but the night i was there, the service was really off and i was not all that impressed with the food. Harrison Ford and entourage were dining behind me so maybe the staff was pre-occupied.
At first i was confused by the menu as it's heavy on the french influence. I don't get why an italian restaurant would go there as there's oodles of regions and influences to deal with and adding french just confuses this issue...imho.
Started off with a bunch of first courses that barely fit on our teeny table and halfway through our waiter scraped everything into one plate and took away our bread despite a bowlful of mussel broth and my jaw dropping on the floor. Next gaff highlight was when we ordered wine for the main course. We asked for a specific Caymus that was unfortunately out of stock so the sommelier suggested one which was more than double in price ($700 to be exact). Great wine of course but not as good as the one we'd wanted. Food is very simple here, typical of italian where 2 or 3 strong flavours are put together but i found everything just a little too bland. While chowing down, we noticed a table beside us enjoying some spectacular looking souffles so when the time came, we tried to put an order in for those heavenly desserts but were told 'they take too long to make'...deflated, we chose from the standard list and sadly, had finished everything by the time our espressos and cognac finally came.
The place has lots of style but imho, there's better italian, better french, and better service out there.
Add me to the long list of reviewers that found the prices outragious! We have been to Cioppinos twice before. The first time about 6-7 years ago was very memorable (plus my father-in-law picked up the tab).My wife and I went back a few years ago and although it was still pretty decent, it did not live up to the memories of our first visit.
Our kids gave us a note for Christmas that said they would pick up the tab for my wife and I to go out to dinner at a nice restaurant. They suggested Cioppino's and since we had not been in a long time, we decided to try it out again.
We made a reservation for 6:30 PM on a Saturday night. The place was pretty empty at that time but the ambience was very nice just the same. We started with a couple of caeser cocktails. Actually were pretty watery tasting meaning the Clamato juice should have been shaken up better. Not very good for $10.
The wine list is very extensive and I was only looking at it for about 2 minutes before the waiter asked if he could make a suggestion. I told him that I was fine and settled on the Burrowing Owl Syrah. I buy this for $35 and with tax and tip I figured it cost us over $113. I like wine with my dinner but that is just way too much for the average person to afford. Still, it was me who ordered it so no one else to blame for that.
My wife ordered the beet salad which was very nice but at $19, again, way overpriced. You can get a pretty nice entree at many restaurants for that price. I had the charred Romaine leaves and it was just OK. It was a pretty interesting salad when we first had it many years ago but now it was nothing special.
Both of our main courses were $40. I had the Veal chop. I had ordered the veal medallions with the mushrooms but the waiter strongly suggested that I have the chop. It was decent but I wished that I had stayed with my original order. My wife ordered the Osso bucco and I can honestly say, it tasted just like something that I have made with a cheap cut of meat in my slow cooker. Mt wife said that after I tried it and mentioned that, she couldn't get that thought out of her head.
It seemed to us that they were trying to turn our table over quickly but with coffee and dessert, we managed to make it to about 2 hours. With tip, the meal came to $305. I'm sure that for a lot of diners, that is just a drop in the bucket. But for me, it's all about value. I don't mind spending the money if the meal is outstanding but it really wasn't. Everything was just OK. I can't see ourselves ever going back. Way to expensive for what you get.
This is my second experience to better assess this so call "top rated" eatery in GVRD. We were there on a Friday night. It was busy but not over-crowded. As usual Pino the owner spent a lot of time on the floor than in the kitchen. I believe he had the menu formula down to the tee so his sous-chef could step up and follow his plan. There are too many servers and bus people on that night but it was not a good sign. They ran into each other 1/2 the time or "over-served" the customers and some are simply looking for something to do. The main dining room is already cluttered and with that many people running around, it was a caotic scene and a disruption to the patrons. We were knocked and bumped by the servers several times because there were not enough lanes for them to move around.
The appetizers were good but not fantastic. The lobster bisque is consistent and the texture are very well balance. The osso buco was tender but a touch on the dry side and the sauce was average. The lobster linguene was average and the presentation was disappointing. It would be nice if the kitchen staff could be more creative to stack the lobster pieces on the pasta bed instead of tossing in and mix with the dish (similar to a fast food chain outlet). After all, this is a hefty $35 plate. The sable is pricey but it is still the winner of all the entrees. It was perfectly broiled and extremely delicate.
The wine selection is extensive and the price is not for the faint of heart. So be prepared to dose out a couple of hundred for some fine grape juice.
In my opinion, this place is overrated because of its celebrity status. There are inconsistency in the overall food quality and presentation. There are just too many good eatery in and around the area with better and more intimate ambiance for 2/3 of this price.
I took my family for a dinner there. I was impressed by the service, it was attentive; however, I felt the floor staff was not really calm. They looked a bit stressed.
All the entries were delicious, some of the appetizers (prawn salad) were a little disappointing. Cherry tomatoes tasted fishy, and the butter foam did not tantalize my appetite. Pricy menu, I don't recommend it for family. It is perfect for date or business meetings.
Ambience was nice, beautiful washrooms, good music, open kitchen. I might return for a special occasion.
My boyfriend and I went to Cioppino's tonight and I can say that it surpassed my expectations. I'm not the biggest Italian food fan or the biggest pasta fan (I won't usually order pasta at a restaurant), but my sister had bought us a gift certificate here. Furthermore, I had heard that it was the best restaurant in Vancouver according to Vancouver Magazine, so we went with high expectations. The restaurant ambiance itself is really nice. It's romantic but lively, a perfect date night combination.
Our waiter was great - friendly and informative. He helped me decide on a wine (I got a red wine from Argentina which I was pleased with while my boyfriend got the Cioppino's martini, which was a citrus-flavoured type of martini that he enjoyed) and was overall attentive without being fawning. We were served bread right away with some kind of spread that reminded me of hummus. I thought it was pretty good, but my boyfriend wanted some butter. He flagged down a waiter but Chef Pino himself came by and so my boyfriend had to sheepishly ask him for the butter. Chef Pino was really good about it, but I was laughing inside. He was probably thinking, "The nerve! He wants butter instead of my delectable spread?!" Ha ha! A funny moment.
Anyway, I had done some research before going so I had heard about what the critics had recommended ordering - and I'm so glad I did because they were bang on. I started with the "Porcini and chestnut soup, vanilla chantilly" which Chef Pino had apparently won a gold medal for, while my boyfriend ordered the "Classic lobster bisque served with Pacific crab rémoulade", both of which were $14.95. My soup was so good - rich and flavourful, and I savoured every bite. My boyfriend's soup was excellent, too. For our mains, I ordered the "Pappardelle with 4-hour-braised veal cheeks and porcini mushrooms" ($25) because the critics had raved about that particular dish, while my boyfriend ordered the "Risotto of Carnaroli rice, wild porcini mushrooms and herbs" ($25). Oh my gosh, I cannot get over how amazing my pappardelle was! It was the best pasta I have ever had. I can't even explain what they put in it to make it so delicious - all I know is that I'd definitely order it again. It was the highlight of the whole dinner for me and I highly, highly recommend it. My boyfriend's risotto was wonderful as well and he really enjoyed it. Finally, for dessert, we ordered the "Limoncello cheese-cake, citrus-vanilla confiture, aged Balsamico caramel, mascarpone-citrus sorbet" ($12), something I had read that Chef Pino had served at the James Beard Award dinner. It was the perfect ending to dinner, almost with a palate-cleansing quality.
I know the prices at Cioppino's are quite expensive, but this is a place you go for special occasions or for when you want top-notch food. Honestly, the food was incredible and I still can't forget the taste of the pappardelle. I need to start dropping hints to my friends to buy me gift certificates to Cioppino's so I can go back!
After living in Italy for over a year, I've had a really hard time finding true, authentic, delicious Italian food. Everything is so "americanized" in terms of pasta & pizza.
When I first of Cioppino's, I was really excited. This place has been rated the Top Italian in so many different polls/surveys that I just couldn't wait to try it. To top it off, everybody raved about the chef himself.
Until Italy, I had never had steak that was sliced for you. At first, I never liked this idea... I was used to having my steak arrive at my table as a big slab of meat on a plate. In Italy, "tagliata" is quite popular.... always cooked med rare and topped with fresh rucola/arugula and shaved parmesan. It slowly became an "acquired taste" to me and sure enough, when I came back to Vancouver, I rarely found it on the menu and if I did, it never came out the same.
This is exactly what I ordered at Cioppino's. All in all, I would rate this restaurant fairly HIGHLY as the dishes we had were tasty and our server was actually really experienced, professional and attentive. When my tagliata order arrived, it looked fantastic. But when I had my first bite, I was a bit disappointed as my meat was definitely over-cooked. I ordered it RARE/MED RARE.. and it came out a good medium well. This happens often when ordering steaks it seems. When our server came to check on us, I kindly pointed out that my order was over-cooked. Immediately, it was taken back to the kitchen. A few minutes later, a chef came storming out of the kitchen towards our table. It was Pino himself. He came up to me and started telling me that the steak WAS rare/med rare. He even had the plate in his hand. (by the way, we were sitting on the patio outside, in plain lighting). I told him that it was barely even pink in the centre and the meat had gone tough/chewy. He INSISTED that this steak was cooked PERFECTLY and that HE cooked it himself. I was blown away by this point. Why was he arguing??? Again, I politely refused to take my over-cooked steak back... and then he started to raise his voice a bit and told me that it was the LIGHTING outside that made the steak look more cooked!!! I couldn't believe it!! Finally, he stormed off with my plate. When the server came back with my newly cooked steak, it was perfect this time... it was COMPLETELY different than the first order and I could NOT believe that Mr. Chef put up such a huge fuss with me in front of everybody.
I liked the food... and the ambiance is fine. But due to that incident, it is a place that I will not return to. Being a top chef that he is, I'm sure he knew that the steak was not cooked properly but he insisted on making a deal about it and tried to make me wrong. WOW.
I have dined in some pretty amazing restaurants around the world and was shocked to find such a treat in my own city. Our experience there was amazing. The food was inventive with unique and wonderfully fresh ingredients, the award winning mushroom soup was something I'll crave forever. Our waiter was professional and experienced. The wine menu outstanding and reasonably priced. The ambiance was that of an authentic Italian family restaurant and the location is fabulous. My only regret was to not have discovered this place sooner but making up for lost time will be my reward
My wife and I celebrated a wedding anniversary at Cioppino's on 26 August. We had looked up the menu on the internet before we went and so were expecting gourmet fare, high prices, and excellent service.
Our waiter was quick to serve us -- he asked if we wanted water and I said yes; as he left I added "tap water". When he returned, I asked for two "gibsons, straight up" and he brought us two glasses of rye whiskey. I explained that a gibson was a martini with onions, not olives, and he fixed his error. My wife said the sourdough loaf's spread was hummous (?) but it tasted like chicken fat and flour to me. My lady ordered the osso bucco with risotto which she enjoyed but which lacked a vegetable other than its rice. I had the pasta with wild boar and truffle oil. It was macaroni and beef short ribs to my uncultured palate. We earlier shared a prosciutto and calabrese olive antipasto, which was served as two slices each of ham and two olives each on the plate. The next day we bought more prosciutto and a small tub of calabrese olives from Bosa Foods on Victoria Drive for $4.00; a savings of $8.95 from Cioppino's. I understand food costs should be about 30% of the bill of fare, but I expect that the effort to serve it would reflect some labour or presentation.
Our bill with wine, tax & tip was $217: about $80 more than it was worth. (Did I mention that the tap water turned out to be still water and was an additional $7?) Unless we win a lottery, our visit to this overpriced restaurant was our last.
It's hard for me to review Cioppino's because I think that my love of Pino Posteraro may cloud my judgment. I only know a few chefs who seem truly born to the profession and deeply passionate about it beyond business. Pino is not only one of those, he's Italian and that's my heritage too.
You can spend a lot of money here. I can't afford to do more than glance at his wine list. My own experience here is of sometimes ordering off the menu and sometimes asking Pino to make something that inspires him. Pino's things are always more expensive, but I have to say I've generally liked them more.
Service is great. You get a feeling that everyone's family. Sort of the same as at Tojo's (but the service is better at Pino's). Fantastic pasta - don't neglect that dish just because you're at a fancy place.
Went there for a party of 20 people. Decent little room in the back with nice decor (wine bottles in the walls). Although a preset menu, choice of 2 variations per course. Parmiggiano on the salad a little too soft, pasta 2 minutes after the "al dente" stadium. But overall very tasty and savy meals. And delicious espresso!
We went there on a casual Saturday night in the summer and the servive and cuisine were top notch! We had the lobster and lemon risotto which was incredibe. I would highly recommend this fine dining establishment! Bon apetit!
Had the opportunity to dine in their private wine room. I was with some company executives and they went all-out:. The food and wine were excellent. Very authentic, tasty and left you wanting more.
YES - it is in Yaletown and pricing and value are reflective BUT hey it's not Cactus Club, Joeys or Milestones - this is TRUE fine dining!
The atmosphere was great and service was good. The ambiance was a little loud and a little too dark for my liking when I sat inside for dinner. The service was like any other young staff, energetic and motivated to suit your needs. During the summer, they open the patio and when I went with my friends, the patio was full of smokers and I don't smoke and we sat on the patio to enjoy the sunshine but all the smokers go out there to enjoy their meal and smokes at the same time. It was not a good experience outside so I recommend inside for non-smokers. The food is pretty good too and they have an incredible wine selection.
It was horrible. I should not believe in what others were saying positive about this place. Their pastas, are you kidding me! I can cook better than what they gave me. The waitress told me the pasta is sooooooooo tasty. But it tasted so blunt and didn't even taste anything. I wasted money there. I won't go back. I need to find a good pasta. Maybe will try Cincin next time. I just don;t get why this place is reviewed so positively. No worth going to me. We made a bad choice. it was way too expensive for what I got. Not worth the trip at all. Not worth eating to me. Eeverybody has a different tastes and likes.
this is one of my favorite restaurants. i eat here often -lunch or dinner and i always order a pasta dish. i love the lobster and crab gargarnelli pasta dish!!! lobster bisque soup, grilled romaine salad, crab salad, pasta with bolognese sauce, grilled halibut...just to name a few favs. for dessert, the soft warm heart is sooo yummy it's to die for!
WE have done The Five Sails, Diva at the Met and the Hart house. When we went to Cioppinos we knew it was fine dining and we could expect a $200 bill for the two of us, My wife is worth it. We had wine, appies, main course and dessert. The waiter recommended the wine and it was pricey, but good. Appies were good but not great, I liked my salad, my wife's lobster bisque was just OK. The waiter recommended the Ahi tuna with Black truffles - thinking around $40, I almost crapped when the bill said $60. The waiter ruined my evening with one suggestion without the price warning. My wife had the Potato gnocchi and it tasted like dough. For the money they wanted they should have remembered to cook it more, it was horrible. The dessert was the highlite of the meal, fabulous. For $235 plus tip I expected more. Sometimes it doesn't pay to venture from the familiar.
My favorite Italian in the city. But very expensive. Wish Italian was not always such a big deal here (ie if it is very good, it is expensive). That's where Toronto beats Vancouver--lots of great Italian at affordable prices.
Prices aside, the food is fabulous here. The room is very nice unless one sits near to the open kitchen in the back. There, it is so noisy it is difficult to converse.
I heard this was the best place in town so we went. Indeed the food was excellent and so was the service but the prices were absolutely shocking. So much so, that I won't return, you can get an equally fabulous restaurant experience elsewhere and still pay your mortgage. I was surprised --when i got the bill--that the wine-by-the glass- that the server recommended was 20.00.