Incendio is an Italian restaurant in Gastown in a circa-1900 heritage building with exposed brick, local artwork and big curved windows. There is also another location in Kitsilano on Burrard.
I had gone to Incendio for dinner last summer, and it was terrific - the service was very attentive and friendly, the food was delicious and the decor was warm and elegant. With fond memories, I was looking forward to returning with my husband.
Finally, we made it there. We had a reservation, and were seated promptly. It took a very long time after that for anyone to check on us and to take our order. The cooks and the servers all seemed more concerned with whatever was happening on their cell phones. There was one server who seemed to be on task all evening, but she wasn't serving our section. On multiple occasions throughout the evening, this server had to nudge our server into making her way over to our table because we clearly needed attention.
Aside from the incredibly slow service, here's what went wrong:
1. We ordered the calamari appetizer. The crust on the squid was rock hard and had too much paprika. We didn't really enjoy it and didn't finish it.
2. DH ordered his steak medium well - we clarified with the server that he wanted well, not rare, and we all had a little laugh about it. I'm SURE she told the kitchen the correct information, but when DH discovered that his steak was rare and we reported the issue, she immediately blamed the kitchen. As a customer, it doesn't matter to me whose fault it is. Just apologize, fix it and move on!
3. While they were remaking my husband's entire dinner plate (which was nice and appreciated), my food was getting cold so DH insisted I should just eat. My meal was finished and cleared away before my husband's meal came the second time. This time, his steak was very well done. It was also very bland, so DH was really disappointed to wait all that time for food he did not enjoy.
4. My gnocchi quattro formaggio sauce tasted nice but the gnocchi was very doughy and amateurly made.
5. The server comped the dessert and teas but didn't take it off the bill correctly. Another wait to get that resolved.
All in all, the meal service took over 2 hours, and we ate fast when the food arrived. Good thing we weren't going to a show or anything afterwards.
The ambiance is still great - it's a beautiful building and the decor is nice. Service needs to pick up speed and professionalism, and the food should be of higher quality for the price.
DH and I will not be returning for a long while.
If you feel like a casual meal with friends, this is a nice option. I recommend reservations because this place is constantly busy, even then the staff maintain the service well. My favourite here is Dragon's Breath - green curry on spaghetti. Good value and service makes up easily for the simple decor.
I ended up at Incendio when Nilci Antica was just plain too busy on a weeknight. Incendio, on the other hand, was about 1/3rd full. Unlike their competitor up the block, Incendio has a warmer, cozier (and slightly hokier) feel, with slightly unprofessional but friendly service. You'll end up with a few different waiters catering to you, and none of them come off 'textbook', but they all seem happy to be there and happy to help.
The pricing is ok. About $15 on average for a pizza and $6 a pint. However, if the Canucks are playing, you'll get that for $16 together, so I was able to get a nice, cheap pint and a 12-inch pizza. Nice! I also shared some hand-rolled meatballs for $7. The dinner progressed like this: Bread! Free of course, and with the traditional balsamic/olive oil combo. The bread was delicious but already had a strong taste, and didn't require the dressing. Meatballs! REALLY, really good. I'm not sure if they're $7 good (you only get three, about half a fist in size), but they're good. Pizza! I went with the margharita, and it was extremely average. Ever had an Earls pizza? Expect that. It's big and pretty ok for the value, but it's not a true, Italian pizza. Don't get me wrong, it's better than what you'll get for your late night pizza cravings from Dominos, but it's definitely not the best I've had in Gastown alone. That'd be Nilci Antica.
You know, I'd probably return... the place was warm and friendly, the food was good and the price was reasonable. I still know I can get better pizza just a street up though.
Had a casual lunch here. The atmosphere is nice and the food was average. All the pizza here is thin crust style. We only had pizza and the middle of the pizzas were a little too soggy for my tastes. It was decent though, but not outstanding. Everything else was OK. I'd like to come back again to try the other stuff on the menu but I don't intend on going out of my way to get here.
We were previous fans of Incendio, but I think we will not be coming here again, EVER. When we went there last week, my husband ordered a pizza - which was mediocre & comparable to supermarket pizza, but just with more salt. I ordered a mushroom risotto which came out looking like light brown, overcooked gruel that was stodgy, bland looked like it was microwaved and essentially inedible beyond a few bites (incidentally the waitress never asked how our meal was despite my entire plate being left over). Fair enough, it's a pizza place, and risottos don't have to be a specialty -- but they shouldn't be charging $20 for it. The pizza bread appetizers they provided also tasted like raw dough. All in all, awful crappy food, ok-ish service. Would not recommend anyone to this place!!!!
I had a very negative experience at Incendios Gastown last night when I picked up my pizza. To make along story short:
I ordered a pizza for pick-up and when I got there I was told the driver had taken it by mistake. I asked for a fresh one and was assured this was no problem I would have a new pizza in 5 minutes. I left the Restuarant for a couple minutes came back and "Voila" was presented with a "under 5 minute, fresh out the oven, can't be fresher" pizza. I was vocally sceptical and assured by the staff it was fresh. Right out the oven.
This has happened to me before at Incendios about 6 months ago. Fool me once... Well you know the rest.
After all was said and done I had to question staff 3 times and argue with the manager to finally learn the truth that they were trying to pawn off a cold meal that I specifically asked and checked to make sure was fresh. And what REALLY gets me going is that this happened before, and I was so furious that I didn't even think to ask for my money back. So no only did I have to argue for what I paid for, but I ended up paying for an experience that was less than enjoyable (on New Years Eve). I have been eating at Incendio for 20 years and have many fond memories there, but after this experience I will never eat there again.
A premium meal should never come with a headache.... Unless it comes with a bottle of wine.
And that's the short version.
I LOVE this place. Four of dined there on Saturday night after a couple of drinks at Chill Winston. Had not been for quite some time (I know, I can't remember why not!!) and it exceeded my memory expectations. Pizza is just about my favourite food and I generally make my own but this places puts mine (almost) in the dust. I wish I could build a similar pizza oven in the corner of my kitchen but my husband says I would spend all my time lighting it, then cleaning it. It would be WORTH IT! Our server was really engaging and funny. I like the casual decor and feel of this place, too.
I have been here twice now and I enjoyed a calzone each time. I was a little leery because wood fire oven tend to make a dry crust so I was pleasantly surprised to find such delicious and moist crust.
I had a duck sausage, mozzarella, spinach and rosemary (the Daffy) and the Chorzio, green peppers and onions (Primevera) calzone the last time. Each time, it was equally as yummy.
I wasn't in a rush either way, so service was certainly adequate. My water glass was always full and I always had offers for additional Stanley Park Ale refills. (a 20oz glass, no less).
Great pizza, great venue. Solid choice.
1st time trying this place and initial impressions were good. They are part of company that also owns Stellas Tapas - and we were looking forward to trying for some time. We dined here with another couple.
They brought us some foccacia bread & oil//balsamic to start. We then ordered a couple salads (Caprese & Roasted Beet). Then the calamari (which was very tasty) followed by a large Gastown pizza.
We enjoyed everything but must point-out that service was a lil' off. 1st they brought us a wrong-salad (which they promptly replaced and left the mistaken one n/c) and then after delivering the calamari - brought NO sideplates and fresh utensils (had to ask twice) and then they left us "unserviced" for some time and made us ask for more drinks.
Food B+, service C-
As my business takes me in and out of Gastown on a regular basis, I found myself anticipating the re-opening of Incendio this winter.
Working odd hours has me dining solo more than I care to admit and after the initial confusion by the host, I found a seat at the bar facing the kitchen and prep area.
The atmosphere was perfect for a pizzeria. Exceptionally friendly staff with just the right amount of table (bar stool) service and humor. The kitchen staff (being seated so close, I was able to experience them as well) was entertaining and also very friendly.
My meal was a vegetarian lasagna and it was completely perfect. Sauce to noodles to veggies, it was one of the best I've had. This paired with a delicious Italian beer, was worth being late to get back to work.
Thanks for the great experience, I'll be back.
First time to Incendio and can't believe we haven't tried it out before. Amazing pizza..really good pasta..chorizo and chicken combo really good. Nice ambiance..Gastown Pizza so tasty and full of flavour..definitely best place we've tried for pizza in Vancouver. Server was also efficient and professional.
Sadly, Incendio is out of business due to an early morning fire, as of January 5th, 2009. I can only hope the rebuild at this location. Incendio Gastown had none of the west side pretentions. Decor was eclectic instead of designer. Customers were the same. Food was always good, as was the overall value and service.
Yestarday was pizza night. Incendio - best option, no doubt. Very consistent, friendly service, nothing exceptional but good. The food was a little bit different. I ordered the same pizza I used to but was a little bit different. Not bad but different. May be new pizzaiollo. The server suppose to offer me more drinks, or more desserts, she didn't, no big deal. Stil tjhe best pizza I know.
I have just gone to Incendio's recently. The last time I went was in the summer and before that it was probably a couple of years before that.
The food quality and taste seemed similar. The service and the ambiance has slid a bit.
My husband quite liked his fettucine alfredo. My calzone was pretty good. We also had the shrimp appy. That was majorly over-priced! I believe we figured out each shrimp was about $2 each. It was definitely not a $2 shrimp that we had. On top of that, the shrimp was in a creamy garlic sauce but it actually tasted like it was just blanched.
The bus boy was a bit rough around the edges but he constantly refilled my water. And for a water guzzler, I was very impressed!
The foccaccia that they offer was actually what i enjoyed the most!
We have been here a couple of times (and at the Burrard St. location). The food is pretty good. Not the most incredible Italian that I have ever had but at the same time, it is consistent and tasty and doesn't not leave a hole in your wallet. For a quick dinner that is satisfying, I will return to both locations again.
This is the place for pizza in Vancouver. Thin crust, nice simple tomato sauce (I think it's just crushed tomatoes with olive oil) and the perfect amount of cheese. I know it doesn't sound special, but the way the flavours work together really is special. I would recommend the Margherita. The last time I was there I ordered the prawns in garlic sauce as an appetizer. That is one decision I've never regretted. The staff is friendly, but not in your face. Check it out!
My husband and I went ther for dinner this past week. He ordered a pizza: crust was Italian style and very nice texture; toppings were just right - too too little and not too much. I ordered from the daily sheet - a rib eye steak with caesar salad and mashed potatoes. The potatoes were very tasty and the best part of the meal: I think it had carmelized onions incorporated. The salad dressing was thick and "goopy"; I wondered if it cam out from one of those jars you can buy from the refrigerated section at the supermarket. The 8 oz steak came well done when I ordered medium and I was a bit surprised by the cut which was less than 1 inch thick fully cooked. I'm more used to a thicker cut for rib eye. I didn't tell the server because I didn't want the steak to be thrown out. I could have changed the tasting/dining experience but I didn't want to end the evening feeling guilty because I wasted food that was still edible. The service is friendly and made the experience pleasant. The price for the pizza is reasonable and pretty much what you can expect to pay for freshly made pizza, and the steak dinner was well priced for what you get. This was our first time in the eastern Gastown neighbourhood and surprisingly there's a fair amount of foot traffic - we didn't even know this block existed but there's is life there!! The restaurant has a honest, simple charm. We'll likely give Incendio a second try but plan to stick to pizza only.
tasty brick oven pizza - with thin crust. they consistently make tasty pizza. their salads are good too.
try the california pizza and the frizee salad. the frizee salad dressing is inconsistent - sometimes very sweet - sometimes not sweet at all.
service is usually very quick.
We've been to this place many many times, although not much recently since moving to Burnaby. We've been to a few parties here as well, and the staff was always more than accommodating.
The food is very fresh and delicious. Even something as ordinary as "tomato soup" here is unique and delectable. We usually get either soups or salads, then pastas or pizzas, then some kind of dessert, usually a crème brûlée. All are extraordinary. The prices are a little high but not when you take into consideration the serving sizes. I almost always finish my pasta plate because it's so damn delicious but every time I do I always regret it because it's so much food and now I can't have it for lunch at work the next day!
The restaurant is very cozy with nice seating in and out (summer) and on two different levels to give it a little different dimension. The service is always fast and friendly.
Specifically, I would recommend the Dragon's Breath Pasta if you like hot Thai-style food. Pretty much all of their pizzas are great.
On Friday August 29, 2008, my friend and I visited the Incendio Pizzeria in Gastown and were very impressed with the food and friendly service. I am not normally a pizza lover but the chorizo sausage one I had was delicious. Our main server, Mike was great-very friendly and attentive. The atmoshere was a bit noisy and the decor beautiful.