La Piazza Dario Ristorante is located in the Italian Cultural Centre and offers old-world Italian cuisine in a warm, relaxed atmoshpere.
Came here alone for lunch last week, the restaurant is beautiful. The room was about 20% full but the service was slow. When I sat I had to wait 13 minutes just for them to take my order. I asked about getting the veal but substituting the potato and vegetables for pasta with clams. He told me it would be an extra $10 charge for the "half order of pasta" That's weird since the entire pasta dish sells for $14.. So I instead ordered just a plate of Spaghetti alle Vongole (spaghetti with clams) in a tomato sauce. My plate arrives and it looks great, very generous portion of clams. Wow this was good! This is one of the best plates of pasta I've eaten this year, 4.5 out of 5. I was thinking that I wouldn't want to come back here because of the slow service (also had to wait too long for my bill so I could leave) but this pasta changed everything so I will bring the wife for dinner!
My wife and I came for dinner. Our waiter right away asks if we would like "Sparkling Water". I asked if they had regular water since he didn't give me that option. He kind of made it seem like would you like our fancy water or the peasant ditch water.. I chose the ditch -)
Appies: Beef Carpaccio - $12 - this was ok, kind of plain tasting, needed something to wake it up.
Mussels in sauce - $14 - this was between average and good, 3 out of 5.
Entree: She had the duck - $23 - medium rare but was a little over cooked. She said it was average.
I had the Veal piccata - $22 - this was also awesomely average. Kind of reminded me of eating at a wedding.
Dessert: She had the creme caramel - $7 and it was ok..
I ordered the chocolate mousse - $7 and they bring me a piece of chocolate cake that happens to have some mousse inside it.. hmm this isn't what I wanted at all but I will try a bite to see how it is.. Yup tastes like an over sweet safeway style piece of cake. I just left it, one bite was all I would eat. The waiter asks, "you didn't like your cake"? They call it cake but the menu calls it mousse. So he took it away, I said I didn't want it but they still charged me for it. No problem since I took a bite... Also it was served on a hot plate so it came with a yummy side of melted whipped cream. That was a huge let down for me, dessert was a 1 out of 5. So with wine our bill comes to $113 and I leave there feeling like I just ate a fancy looking but average tasting meal with a disaster of a dessert.
Overall.. The pasta that I ate on my first visit was awesome, memorable, reminded me of when I was in Italy. It was something that would make me return.
The meal on my second visit was too boring and average making me not want to return.
So I will only come back here if I want pasta, the spaghetti was excellent. I will not eat anything else on the menu other then pasta if I come back.
I wish I could rate the food higher because of that great spaghetti but the other meal brings it back down.
My gf and I met up with a friend for a late evening dinner, something along the lines of comfort food and made our way here.
Dario's is free from any semblance of a haut restaurant - it is strictly Italian family authentic. Decor is a dated classic feel but you couldn't mistake it for anything else with the lingering music almost carrying a depressive tone.
Specials were introduced so we went with the fantastic mussels with a fragrant tomato sauce to start. My gf's gnocchi in a light red sauce was nicely done and paid homage to a traditional dish, while our friend went with a more basic alfredo penne. My veal double chop special was a well cooked and tender though lacking a bit in flavour. We ended with a St. Honore house cake and a Zabaglione, a simple and light finish to the meal.
Service is also strictly Italian with the owners gabbing with customers while the other staff tended with a restrained feel, a little uncomfortable but not the first time I've seen.
While on the expensive side it's a nice find to keep in the back of your pocket.
I feel like I ate at a different restaurant than the other people who've reviewed this restaurant.
We ate here a number of years ago and had a good meal so we decided to try it again since they are not in the 2008 entertainment book. We thought we would go while we could still take advantage of the discount.
The ambiance is really strange. The music that they were playing just didn't fit in with what i feel it should be for an Italian restaurant. An old monkees recording (remember them) sung in Italian - strange.
The food was very good. We shared the spaghetti with sundried tomatoes and garlic. It was cooked perfectly and the flavours were great. The bread served with dinner was decided boring. Basic white bread that I buy at Safeway has more flavour and texture. My husband had veal with portobello mushrooms and I had the daily special which was rack of veal. Both were very good.
The service left a lot to be desired. There was no attempt made to engage us in conversation at all. Most of the wait staff seemed bored with their job and it seems that all they wanted to do was take our order, deliver it to the table and get us out. At no time were we asked how our meal was or if we required anything. For all the raves that other reviewers had about the service I was expecting more than the indifferent service that we received.
I might return because the food was very good but now that they are no longer in the entertainment book that takes away one of the incentives.
For the price there are much better alternatives.
I read the reivews and made a reservation with cautious optomism. The comments about the atomosphere and music befuddled me. There ws VERY quiet opera(Pavarottti) - nice - in the back ground and the atmosphere was classic Italian dining room.
Firsts, Caesars salad very good as well as the bread with pesto, Insalata Caprese was VERY boring, average and overpirced at $10. Ingredients were worth maybe $0.75.
Vegetarian Pasta dishes were cooked well but overpirced. Chicken too was very good but VERY small serving.
All in all the food was pretty good but prices not so good. Liquor prices were average. Dessert did not fair so well, Chocolate mousse, was acutally a factory made chocolate cake. Creme caramel could have been much better. ANd TIramisu, maybe I don't know what it's suppose to be or taste like, but I did not know it was frozen. They most obviously do not make the desserts in house. All in all the food was better than say Ear's but should be much better for the price.
Recommended by a friend we decided to try Dario's one night. The bread was really soft, warmed to serve and the olive oil dip was excellent. For start we had the steamed mussels, which was really nice and fresh. I ordered the sauteed veal with lemon and white wine sauce. In addition to my entree we really wanted to try the seafood pasta called Linguine di Mare, which had prawns and mussels in tomato sauce, that was phenomenal! The special of the day was the veal chop, it was meaty and tasty, solid dish. For dessert we had the tiramisu, it was nice to end the meal with but a bit too sweet though.
My partner and I went to celebrate his birthday - we were very satisfied by the service, ambiance and food. We started off the meal with the sauteed mushrooms which were nicely seasoned! I had the rack of lamb, medium rare in an au jus - quite tasty but the vegetables on the side were over-salted and a bit too soggy for my liking. My partner enjoyed his spinach and ricotta cannelloni. We ended the meal with dessert. The tiramisu was average, not creamy enough, but my partner enjoyed his lemon sorbet. Their antipasto plate, which I had 4 years earlier was outstanding and good value: you get mixed marinated seafood, vegetables and greens. The antipasto plates seemed very popular that night, as well as their freshly tossed Caesar salad.
Overall a positive dining experience if you're looking for a more formal yet still cozy restaurant. Plus they accept the Entertainment coupon, so it was good value indeed. Total bill inclusive of tip, a carafe of the house red and an ice-tea was $70.
La Piazza Dario is without question one of the world's best Italian dining establishments. The food is consistently superior with wonderful and authentic flavors. The service is excellent. The atmosphere is lovely. I have dined here on numerous occasions and always look forward to returning. There is no doubt that La Piazza Dario is among Vancouver's very best eateries.
My husband and I wanted some good Italian food. We have tried numerous restaurants on hastings/north burnaby and have not been disappointed. I ordered the mozzarella and tomato salad- the tomatos were not ripe and there was minimal dressing on the salad. Next I ordered the mushroom risotto- it was watery and over salted. There was a definate feel that if you were a regular you got great service but for us it was just okay.
We would never go back or recommend it.
The decore was very dated and cluttered.
Have been to this restaurant several times and the service has gone from mediocre at best to totally abysmal. We will not be returning.
We went there to celebrate a family dinner and from the moment we sat down (we had reservations) things went amiss. It started with not being given sufficient menus for the eight of us and when we asked for more they declined. Not sure why a restaurant would not have a menu for every seat and we were not given an explanation nor an apology. We waited a very long time for someone to take our order and then our meals arrived at wildly different times from one another. In fact, the last one arrived as others were finishing their meals. Again no apologies or explanations from the staff.
Drinks that were ordered failed to materialize. There was no consistency as to who was waiting on us. It appeared that whatever staff member happened to be closest to our table would see to us and that was very irregularly. Most of the time we had to literally hail a staff member to get any attention and that was for just basic service or to have them rectify one of their many mistakes. Orders were forgotten, mixed up, and no one ever came back to check up on us.
The creme caramel arrived burnt. Not crispy golden but blackened. Again no apologies.
The ambiance is a mish mash of tired old Italian knick knacks. Very out-dated.
Too many tables crammed into too small of a space. The atmosphere could be greatly improved if they removed a few tables.
The food was okay --- nice tasting pasta but hard to enjoy when orders are coming 10 to 30 minutes apart for various members of your party.
Definitely overpriced for such poor service.
The servers have an attitude which I have noticed on other occasions. I always feel like I am a huge imposition of them and they are doing me a huge favour by bringing me my meal. They seem to have forgotten the basic fundamentals of customer service.
We will not be returning.
Our usual italian place was booked solid so we decided to give this place a go. What a great place, one of my favourite italian resos to dine at in Vancouver. All of the servers were polite yet had personality. The olive tapenade that comes with the bread in the beginning was spectacular. Can't remember what we had for a starter but for our entrees I had the tagliatelle ai funghi (mushrooms with pasta) and my spouse has the mushroom risotto. Everything was prepared simple but bursting with flavour. The tiramisu was alright, not the best but not the worse, but we totally can't wait to go back again for that wonderful, rustic pasta.
After having a bad experience with terrible service years ago and vowing to never return I allowed a group of friends to convince me to give Darios another try.
I didn't think the service could possibly be as bad as the first time but it was. It's as if they are doing you a favor by allowing you to eat there.
There seems to be no rhyme nor reason to who is waiting on you. We must have had 4 different servers throughout the night.
Their main concern seems to be to clear the plates and get you out of there as quickly as possible, whether you're finished eating or not.
When they came around with the little bowl of parmesan cheese, it was as if they were doling out gold with the smallest spoon I've ever seen. They even made a point of trying to convince people who had seafood and pasta dishes, not to add cheese because it would bring out the fish taste, wtf?
Two of us ordered the Veal Parmesan, $26, but requested a plain pasta with tomato sauce instead of the mixed vegetables. The size of the pasta serving was tiny, and for this they charged an extra $11 per dish. We questioned the waitress and she said this was standard.
How a place with average food, small servings and the worst service in town remains in business is beyond me.
Do yourself a favor. If you want Italian food, skip this place and head down to Commercial drive.
Being located at the Italian Cultural Center, one would assume the food and service would be excellent. We were very disappointed. Deserts were very "not homemade", owner even told us the had the Canoli's delivered and he usually does not come on Saturday! Portions very small for the price, very average taste. Nothing was outstanding. One of our dinners came out over 10 minutes after the rest of us were served and that meal was the worst of all. Obviously forgotten by the owner/chef! Wait staff not very pleasant and attentive for the price of our tab either.
Dario's had been a favorite of mine for at least 25 years. This is the first time we have returned in 9 years and I was very disappointed with the service, but NOT the food.
The server did not know the price of the specials, added several items to the bill that were not ours and continued to ignore us in favour of other customers all night.
The food was good - but the service left a bad taste in our mouth.
The Dario special coffee was without flavour and without much in the way of liquor.
Had a business dinner here on Monday night. My boss used to rave about the place and I don't live too far away so I booked it. I haven't been here for at least 10 years when I went with my Italian boyfriend at the time, but I really didn't remember much about it...good or bad...
The restaurant was nice, white linens, big wine bottles on display like Texas Mickeys, but only 2 other tables occupied at 6pm. One of the party was late so the 3 of us started with mineral water...and then house wine which was god awful! CHEAP, CHEAP Montepulciano d'Abruzzo. I didn't order it, but I knew it was going to be bad & it was!
When the 4th arrived we ordered an antipasto platter & mussels for the appy. I enjoyed the olive oil mixture for the bread the most! It had something grainy in it, and parmesan cheese...I enjoyed it. The mussel broth which was with tomatoes was bland & tasteless. The antipasto had a couple of good nibbles...the 3 guys really devoured it. I got a prawn & a piece of salami & one olive...they took care of the rest.
The waiter (new?) very cute, but very stiff & uncomfortable asked if he could tell us about the specials...halibut..blah blah, and then ended with, "Oh, and we have Osso Bucco"...to which I said, "Sold". The others ordered rack of lamb, gnocci special & veal something or other...
Well, I was never so disappointed to find out my osso bucco wasn't veal when it was delivered, it was lamb! It was hard to cut off the bone, really quite chewy & tough, not too mention bland tasting! It was served with 2 tablespoons of risotto & a couple of pieces of grilled zucchini & 1 piece of broccoli. That was it! Terrible! Shameful really! My boss had 4 skinny minny lamb chops for $30. The veal dish had 2 pieces of scallopini, 2 thin, thin pieces with the same veggies but he had a tablespoon of mashed potatoes. The gnocchi looked o.k. No one commented good or bad, though I did voice my dismay about the osso bucco being lamb and not tender!
Dinner was way over priced! Food was way under-whelming! I think we all agreed that this was the last visit we will make here! Service was very good though...but when the bread & olive oil dip are the highlight of the evening...there's nothing more to say...
I travel a lot for business and experience several different restaurant's ...I will say this is one of the WORSE places I have ever experienced.
They were so incredibly rude and not to mention slow. It took them 15 mins to just approach us for the first time. I was there with a group of friends for a birthday party and my goodness, what a ruin to our night!
They even refused to have the bill split by four groups. Their body language was horrible.
We will NOT be going back and I will definitely be passing this along to my business associates as well as posting it on the web!
If your looking for Mediocre food and EXTREMELY HORRIBLE Service.. feel free to take your chance!
Our family decided to go and try Dario's for the first time on Monday evening thinking that it would be quiet, they were very busy. We heard many good things about this restaurant but also read some reviews so we wanted to try, great decision - It was wonderful. The wait staff were very friendly and attentive. We decided to sample a few appetizers, then a few pasta dishes and we each ordered our own main course. Our appetizer platter had mussels(very fresh), calamari and their antipasto dish, it was nicely presented in a big platter that we all shared. We did have reservations about going to this restaurant because of some of the reviews, but we have to admit that we had a great meal and very good service. I guess we can't always judge a restaurant from other people's experiences, try it for yourself. We will make this one of our new finds in Vancouver.
My wife invited her old office chums for a Christmas lunch. She choose Dario's and made the reservation for 11:30 AM. She arrived first and the last of her party at ~12:00. Everything was fine up to ordering dessert, around 1:00 PM. After the dessert waiter left, a few minutes later the dinner waiter came up and asked them to leave. My wife asked why and he said they were taking too long and another party was waiting for their table.
Well you can imagine my wife's embarrassment since she had chosen Dario's. As they were getting ready to leave the dessert showed up. Another embarrassing moment, since the two waiters obviously weren't talking to each other. They ate the dessert quickly and left, a truly memorably bad way to end the lunch.
Needless to say, she nor any of her lunch chums will be returning!
I've heard the Dario's Restaurant ad on the radio for years and always wanted to try it. A quick summary of tonight's dinner = bland, boring and expensive.
Tonight we went with an office group of gals (7 of us). Two of us returned our avocado shrimp appetizer because the avocados were so hard and unripe they were inedible. For $11 you get an unripe avocado cut in half with a spoonful of watery shrimp in each half and a smidgeon of mayo type dressing. Way too much money for somthing so inedible. The waiter then brought out 2 replacements of the same appies which had only slightly less hard avocados than the first ones. Bland, boring and hard.
My $30 rack of lamb came on a plate with 1/2 piece of small potato, 2 small pieces of broccoli and a tiny slice of red pepper and eggplant. The lamb was VERY bland and boring, and for some reason the fatty areas had a peculiar greasy taste.
The free hourdevres consisted of small portions of dried toast (kind of stale tasting) with some sliced mushrooms - very bland. And also some kind of mystery meatballs which in keeping with the bland theme. All evening long I was hoping to bite into something that had a burst of Italian flavour ... sadly, it never happened.
The wait staff seemed seemed quite bored with their attempt at pleasantries - it felt far from genuine.
I will not be returning here and was really disappointed because after hearing all the radio ads I thought I might be in for a special dinner .... sadly not the case.
I made a reservation for 8 people for a birthday celebration for my husband. We were given a table for 6. After several minutes of discussion, we were redirected to our correct table for 8. We enjoyed the ambiance. The tables were set beautifully and the decor was lovely. We were challenged by the manager when we requested separate bills. It took some discussion with her to have our request honoured. The ensuing confusion that took place while she tried repeatedly, directly behind us, to explain to one of the servers how to do it was ridiculous. Some of our party kept receiving food that was ordered by someone else at the table. At times there were three staff members flitting around our table (invasive). A couple of people had to tell one of the staff that they were still working on their meals so the waiter wouldn't remove the plates. The four people on our bill thoroughly enjoyed our meals which were very good and attractively plated. The garlic prawns, tortellini soup, gnocchi, duck breast, veal picata were excellent. The servings were definitely large enough.
It was my husband's birthday (which someone in our party told someone on staff) and he was presented with a piece of cake and a lighted candle and "Happy Birthday" was sung by our group and the waiter. That was very much appreciated.
When making a reservation for a large group (we were told we had to have a set menu as there was 15 of us) make sure you have the exact amount of people show up because they will charge you for the meals. According to their policy (that we were not told about) we were forced to pay for 2 extra meals because we had two people not show up. The waitress was not very friendly as we explained that we had not dined here before and were not aware of the policy as we would have informed them that we were two people short. I found the waitress unfriendly and she continued to comment that it was policy. Pretty bad customer service. The food was good but I would never return to this restaurant ever again.