Italian Kitchen offers a coalescence of old-world charm and new-world sophistication. The cuisine includes warm wheels of handcrafted pizza, peerless antipasto platters, and dry-aged steaks. A variety of pastas including: pappardelle blanketed with pulled osso bucco; impossibly fat gnocchi; and the ultimate ravioli with Dungeness crab and fresh buffalo-milk ricotta.
I went to Italian Kitchen once before and didn't have a good experience. My friend was telling me that it was great when she went so I said ok, let's try it out again. Boy, was I in for a big disappointed.
I called in on Thursday to see if I could make a reservation for 6 people on a Saturday night and was able to get a table but was told that it was a 2hrs seating. I said ok because normally, restaurants can't kick you out when you aren't done. By the time I arrived, I was carrying a cake and the host at the door said that since they did not know where the cake was made and which bakery it was from, didn't know what the ingredients were, they were not allowed to serve it due to dietary reasons and cross-contamination. I was like, what, nobody told me that?? The host said that they normally ask if it is a party of 8 or larger to see if they were celebrating anything. So my friend asked the host, can we cut it ourselves?? The host again said no but that they could present it. I said fine, then and he put it in the fridge for us. We went upstairs to the table and no menus were given to us. Another friend was already there and he had 1 menu. By the time the rest of my friends came, I had to flag a waiter down to give us menus. He blamed it on the host not giving us menus when we sat down. The waiter had told us the specials once but since the table was not complete and hard to hear over the noise in the room, I had to ask what the specials were again.
We ordered a bottle of wine to share and gosh, this waiter did not know how to pour at all. Some glasses had more wine than others. It was all uneven. No towel around the bottle at all.
When we ordered our dishes and he just stood in one spot. He didn't even bother to come around to the seats to see what you were ordering. We had to shout across the table since the waiter said that it was noisy and couldn't hear. When he served our appies the meatballs were good but no one came around to ask if everything was alright. By the time we were done eating, my friend still had a piece of Burrata & Cantaloupe on the plate and another waiter who was helping the waiter to clear away the dishes said "what are you going to do with that??" My friend wasn't even done eatting and was trying to rush to clear away the plates!!!! What's the rush when we had to wait awhile for the main course to come. The waiter didn't come around the table to take the plates away. I had to pick up mine and hand it over. He just stood in one spot.
When the main course arrived, the waiter puts down the wrong dish in front of my friend and when he finally realizes it he picks it up and hands it off to the correct person. He didn't even bother to come around the table to put it down. My friend had to put his hands out to receive the dish. I would have expected that with fine dining you wouldn't have to touch anything. Some dishes had more meat than pasta and others had more pasta than meat. Some dishes had a lot of sauce on the bottom of the plate while others didn't have any sauce at all. The pasta was hard, gummy and chewy. Again, our waiter didn't come around till close to the end to ask how was the food. My friends are fast eaters and I was the last one to finish. I wasn't even done eating when the waiter came by to ask if we wanted dessert. We declined and next thing you know, they bill came to the table. I repeat, I wasn't even done eating and they were trying to rush us out the door. How rude is that?? The bill didn't even come in those bill folds but just a card with the Glowbal Restaurant names.
I understand that I was told I had a 2hr seating but I didn't think they would take it seriously. I've been to other places and they never rushed us out. I decided to go to the washroom before paying and so did 2 others. The waiter tried to tell one of my friends to swipe the credit card for someone else. How do you do that when you don't even know someone else's PIN?? You don't do that to someone elses credit card!!!!
The cake was never presents so by the time we left, I had to ask to get the cake out of the fridge and the hostess upstairs was giving me the look of what are you talking about?? Thank goodness the host who took my cake came up the stairs and brought the cake back to me.
It was a total hit and miss and never again will I come back to this restaurant. This is the first time that I was told that I could not cut the cake at the resturant because of cross contamination. If they have this strict rule, they should have told me over the phone and not be surprised at the door. After saying this to me, I wonter how clean do they clean everything there.......
Italian Kitchen is a upscale restaurant situated in the heart of downtown, cleverly located near its sister restaurants. If you're not really into steak (Black + Blue) or seafood (Coast), you may consider Italian Kitchen for some pasta or other cuisine. We have dined here for both lunch and dinner, but today we decided to try out their Glowbal Friday burger special. Italian Kitchen's special is actually a chicken parmesan panini with a choice of soup or salad with a beer! You can get all of this for a mere $10.
Chicken Panini - $8.95 (regularly) (6.5/7)
This was actually one of the best sandwiches that we've ever had! We honestly enjoyed this more than the pastas and fish that we have ordered in the past. The bread had the perfect crunch to it but wasn't too hard nor too soft. The fior di latte complemented the breaded chicken cutlet perfectly, making it a light but satisfying lunch.
Pumpkin Soup (6/7)
The creamy soup was nice, thick, and hot. It was really cold today so the soup warmed us right up and dipping the panini into the soup was a great combination.
Ceasar Salad (6/7)
This was just a typical ceasar salad that didn't really have anything special about it. The vegetables were fresh and the sauce was nice and light.
Italian Kitchen is definitely a trendy restaurant that you should visit for lunch or dinner! It gets quite packed though so make sure you make reservations!
I heard this place was not the greatest food so had to check it out for myself
This is exactly my experience:
Walked in the door, no body opened it for me -- it was raining and quite windy outside .. I made the effort to come to their restaurant you think someone could have opened that big door which the wind was trying to shut as I was trying to open.
There was no hostess to great me, I thought Italian was all about the "Family"
We got seated fairly quick because it was a Tuesday and 1/2 the restaurant was empty at 7PM
Sat there for about 10 minutes, no bread !!! Where the hell is the bread, where is my water.
I had to wave the waiter to come over for us to order, I ordered spaghetti and meatballs and side of grilled greens.
The food came in about 17 minutes, still no fresh baked bread, olive oil, balsamic....which is a staple in Italy -- was I suppose to order this and pay extra ???
Got my main course: meatballs looked great, but first thing I noticed is not much tomato sauce, I bit into one, WOW was it spicy, never had one this spicy before, didnt like it and the texture was abnormal it was fine ground meat. Tried my greens dish, never had much flavour and was 1/2 potato wedges??? huh
Also, the waiter took my umbrella and put it where other umbrellas are located, there much have been 20 of them... where was mine ??? I had to sort through them, about 4 looked the same, I grabbed the wrong one, then had to head back and look again till found my umbrella, while they were looking at me like I was trying to take an extra umbrella....... why didnt a hostess or waiter bring my umbrella ??
There you have it, never going back, Don Francescos much better a few blocks away if you want good food and to be greeted properly, fine wine selection
Having eaten here several times, for both lunch and dinner, I can fully understand why some reviews are very positive and some rather negative. The food quality is best characterized by the term 'hit and miss'. Some items are outstanding, fully worthy of 4 stars, while some other items are only mediocre, hence my overall 3-star rating. However, because of the reasonable prices and the premium location, the place is full all the time. Service is always very good, but this will sometimes go unnoticed because of the VERY loud ambient noise here and the crowded seating, which are distracting to me. Otherwise, the decor is nice and the setting is upscale.
The wife and I were walking down Alberni Street and decided to stop here for lunch and sit outside on the patio. We had just left a wedding and felt like some champagne. Lucky for us they offer it by the glass! Two glasses of champagne arrived. It wasn't cold enough for my liking but tasted great. We ordered off the brunch menu..
Appies were next, we ordered two to share. The Beef Carpaccio with soft gorgonzola polenta, asiago cheese - delicious! Also the Bruschetta Sampler - chick pea, tomato basil, pesto, burrata.. Very good.
After that we each had a pizza which were both good and a decent size. I had the Quattro Formaggio “Bianco” (4 white cheese) caciocavallo, fontina, asiago, mozzarella. This was tasty but only for cheese lovers! Very rich and I could only eat half. Would have been better if I added fresh tomato on it I think. My wife ordered the Tartufo Funghi - portobello mushroom, truffle cheese and it was good as well. The waitress asked if we wanted more champagne and I said I did but I wanted it to be ice cold. She smiled said no problem and our next glasses were chilled perfectly. At the end we had to take some pizza to go -) Overall we had great food and service and we will return!
On a recommendation from a friend I decided to try Italian Kitchen on Alberni.
Ordered an appy to share and the fish platter along with a bottle of the chianti.
Food was average, never popped in your mouth like other highend restaurants I have tried in the area.
Fish was overcooked, shrimp also overcooked. Pasta should have been better, I'm assuming it was made in-house but tasted lime the stuff I buy at the Italian market. Risotto was undercooked, better pass on that.
The ambience was good, nice waitress and decor.
For a bill over $150 I left unimpressed and will go back to my other Italian restaurants when the cravings return.
Good: service, ambience, decor, location
Bad: overall food experience, pricey for what you get, cookie cutter style Italian restaurant.
I booked my reservation in advance to ensure that on a Thursday Night my date would go perfectly. It was my girlfriends birthday and she loves pasta. We got to the restaurant and even though I had a reservation people off the street were seated before us. And the worse part about that is they had a better table. I let it go because it was a special night. We ordered the pasta sampler or whatever it is called for appitizer. It was ok. There was very little taste except for SALT. Then we waited and waited and waited and waited and waited until we got our main courses. Mine was cold, hers was over cooked. My date had the cream pasta, but as most of us know, if you cook cream to long it turns into oil. Something about the fat content in cream. Anyways I was told that because it was her birthday we would get a free tiramisu. I was in luck she loves tiramisu. We never got it. So long story short, the place was really loud, poor food, crappy service, and over priced.
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.
Went to the Italian Kitchen to celebrate a birthday.
I arrived 5 minutes early for our reservation, but was seated immediately.
We ordered the bone marrow, and the bruschetta sampler for starters.
The spaghetti with kobe meatballs and the carne piatta sharing plate for the mains.
And the tiramisu, zeppole ci cioccolato and the mille folglie for dessert.
All of the starters and mains were good to excellent. In particular, the rib-eye steak (in the carne piatta) and the spaghetti w/ meat balls were fabulous. We found the veal piccata (also part of the carne piatta) to be good, but it's mild flavors were over powered by the bolder flavors around it.
Of particular note, the desserts were all superb. The zeppole ci cioccolato was a stand out.... slightly crisp to the bite, but warm, rich and sooo chocolately on the inside.
Our server was excellent... warm, friendly, charming and helpful.
On a recent non-DOV experience a group of us went to IK for a meal. They told us we could only have the table for two hours, but they need the turnover with the high rent. The restaurant is on two floors, and it looks nice and trendy. The w/c was clean too. The one complaint is the loud music and overall noise level due to the place being full. The server had an expert knowledge of the menu, and made recommendations.
I had a lamb sausage goat cheese pizza which was outstanding. The egg on top is nice, like you get in Europe. All the others at the table had the garlic clams pasta which was fantastic. The drinks are a bit pricey, but given the location that is understandable. I had iced tea anyway. Nobody had room for dessert, so I can’t make a report about that. By Vancouver standards this is a good Italian joint. It sure seemed popular.
A party of 6 went to IK for a group lunch. Made reservations so no need to wait and this is recommended. Great lunch specials, lassagna, lamb shanks, pizza etc. Had the lassagna and tasted the lamb shanks, both very good. Service was very attentive and speedy. The only negative was the seating, a bit too cramped for any type of intimate dinners but OK for lunch. Would go again during dinner to check it out.
Food - had calamari to start which was very unimpressive. I prefer my calamari in small chunks, battered and fried - this was long chunks, very very lightly battered and fried. It got soggy quickly and I didn't enjoy chewing through large rubbery chunks of squid. He had the rigatoni vitello (veal cheeks) which was very tasty and light, though a touch salty. I had the lobster tagliatelle which came in a larger-than-normal portion. Was also quite flavourful, liberal with the lobster, but a bit heavy with the cream sauce.
Service - very sweet girl who was very attentive and knowledgeable. Very friendly and talkative.
Value - wasn't bad. The pasta was good value but the calamari was not. Next time will try the share platter which, at $20 pp, is very popular as people all around us were ordering it.
Ambiance - absolutely did not enjoy how crowded it was. We were literally 6 inches from the table on the right, and 1 foot from the table on the left. Hated it! Couldn't hear half of what he was saying and just felt like I was sharing my dining experience with two other couples.
I am more or less a regular for lunch and have been very satisfied at every visit - food is great, staff are attentive, and service is outstanding.
Had lunch with a friend (ok, this was several months ago, but I am a new member of dinehere) once and, in an off-hand, manner mentioned that the lunch seem to taking too long (it wasn't really, but I was in a bit of rush). Anyhow, lunch arrived shortly thereafter and it was great. But imagine my surprise when the management covered the bill. The reason - they had fallen short on their high service standard. I sort of protested and said 'the lunch wasn't exactly late' but, wow I thought, now that is service. And, of course, I continue to have lunch there on a more or less regular basis.
Go there for the food and expect high standards of service and quality - you will not be disappointed.
Hooray! A glass of reasonably-priced and delicious red house wine. That, to me, got me in a good mood right off the bat at Italian Kitchen. A generous and friendly server who kept on grating the parmesan into my food until I finally said OH, AM I SUPPOSED TO SAY "WHEN"? Happy and chatty dining neighbours who were obviously enjoying their lovingly-presented food. A pizza that was actually generous in size compared to a CD I had eaten at a posh place. Go there and have a good time, like we did.
Had dinner here with my wife last weekend, saturday night. Booked with opentable and as usual got a great table, on the window looking down on Alberni.
Maybe because of that, or maybe because of the shrieking girls at a large table around back, it was loud. Not quite "lean in and yell at your date" loud, but you had to make an effort if you want to have a conversation. The music was great, and it wasn't too loud so I couldn't blame it on that.
I found the food to be about on par with what you're getting at other Glowbal restaurants, which is to say quite good. I also thought the service was very professional, and personable. We were very well taken care of.
I had read reviews here prior to dining and was prepared to find things salty. I salt most things when I'm cooking at home and don't really have an issue with it, but I did find the risotto here over-salted. I couldn't even finish it, which was a shame because it was otherwise prepared perfectly. I had no such issues with the appetizers or the sablefish entree my wife had.
The silver lining here is that it left room for the doughnuts, which came out PIPING hot and were delicious.
One final note, they have an Enomatic machine here that they load up with some decent wines. This lets you have a glass of something you'd normally never see available by the glass, like Sassicaia or Mission Hill's Quatrain. The glass might cost 1/2 of what a whole bottle would cost at the liquor store, but if you feel like treating yourself...
I can't help it, I love food and I love to eat. After trying many different restaurants in the lower mainland, I notice everything from the first time I get seated to the waiter taking my order. We decided to come here after work because it was close to the movie we were going to go watch. Upon entering the cozy, funky and cool looking restaurant, I was warmly greeted & seated promptly. My first thoughts were, "Wow, this place seems pretty cool. " It had a nice open window to the outside and comfy dining tables, not too cramped but also not too spaced out. While I waited for my husband to arrive I noticed some things, such as the paper covering the top of the table, which I've seen before but didn't expect to see given that it seemed like such a swank restaurant. The waiter kept checking on me to make sure I was okay, which was great, but then some other waitress started sweeping the floor near the tables around me. I was a bit taken back because it was so unexpected given that I assumed dinner service had already started when I arrived at 6pm! Anyways, while strange to see that I was still excited to try the food. We opted for the pasta platter for 2, and while some of it was actually yummy, overall it was a disappointment because the portion was small for dinner and at $18/person I expected a lot more, not undercooked penne. =( I heard that lunch is better there with more reasonable prices. It guess that makes sense since it caters to a larger crowd during that time, but still. Wish it were better for dinner.
Came here for lunch on a weekday and tried the spaghetti w/ kobe meatballs. For 15 bucks I definitely didn't expect the meatballs to be made of real kobe beef, but still.. they didn't have much flavor. The spaghetti was pretty good though. Only concern is I felt really thirsty and dry after wards which is normally how I feel after eating at a low budget Chinese restaurant -- makes me wonder how much MSG was in the food (and shocking since I didn't think Italian places use MSG)
Ambiance: Nice room. Really loud. My friends and I were pretty much shouting at each other the whole time.
Service: Ok and as expected but in general the servers didn't seem as polished as other downtown establishments. They were a bit intrusive at times.
to start im not the most diehard fan of italian food. just the basics of pasta or pizza and im good to go. i love how their open kitchen is set up but its a little to close to customer traffic. it can get busy at times so go early if you can around 5-6pm. they have a lot to chose from the wine list although im not a drinker myself
i like how the our server described everything once it came to our table, especially since i didnt know anything!!! haha
i would come back if i had out of town guests or long time friends i havent seen, but as a regular its kinda pricey for me.
Oh Italian Kitchen--we have been such loyal customers of yours for years. But tonight's service was enough to make me boycott this restaurant forever.
Having frequented this restaurant since my husband and I were dating, we have always been pleased with this restaurant. The food is fantastic and the ambience pleasant, We have had many a celebration, recommended it to our friends, etc. The past three times we have been with our children to enjoy a nice early dinner, the reception has been less than friendly. They could not wait to get us out of there.
Tonight's service took the cake. We were seated, politely i must say, but with such attitude--clearly it was Friday night and having a family of four in their hip restaurant seemed to be messing with their mojo. Our server never offered the specials, and when it became apparent we were not consuming any alcohol, developed even more of a passive aggressive attitude. We placed our order and it arrived in a split second, I kid you not. This is fine when you have small children who are famished, but he could not clear our plates away fast enough, and as soon as dessert was served our bill was on the table. I barely pulled out my credit card and there he was ringing it through. Hinting basically, please leave as soon as you can. Meanwhile the couple on our right was getting coddled and getting offered all the specials of the evening, amuse bouche and recommendations. In sharp contrast to our service.
I left feeling, wow--I spent my hard-earned money for such a sub-par experience with my family. How unenjoyable, how disappointing. Never again, they have lost my business.
Had lunch here last week, it is a BUSY place; we showed up for lunch at around 12:15pm, which is definitely dead in the middle of their lunch prime-time. We stayed until just after 2pm, and it was almost as busy when we left as it was when we walked in.
It took forever to get our food so we asked for some bread for the children to eat...we had to ask 3 times before the waiter finally brought it. When the food finally arrived, (just like the drinks) the dishes came out one and two at a time.
Order the Antipasto Platter, Vine Ripe Tomato Bruschetta and the Zeppele Doughnuts mmmmmm! All the Pastas are cooked al dente perfect and tasty!
The kobe meatballs and pasta are amazing. Make sure you order a side of brussel sprouts.