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.
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.
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.
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.
After hearing mixed reviews from friends and from dinehere.ca, I decided to see for myself what the fuss or lack of fuss was about. Let me tell you I was very suprised, our reservation was on a busy saturday and although I can definatly assure you the restaurant is not the kinda of place you would go if your looking for something along the lines of quiet and snooty Don Francescos or Cin Cin's this place was incredibly alive not to mention well functioning, the other guests in the restaurants were incredibly mixed, young and old, high rollers and everyday types blending in quite nicely.
Definatly would not rate this place as poseur or overly trendy, just stylish and popular .The service was on time and not too intrusive and everyone working seemed to be working very well as a team waiters and clean up staff, overall I would defiantly recommened this for anyone looking for an actually full vancouver joint especially during the downturn
I dined at this restaurant with a large party recently...
We were seated upstairs in an area kinda tucked away. I actually liked this as it gave our party some privacy. The tables were set up in a way where we all couldn't enjoy each other's company but the staff were great in rearranging the set up for us.
Compared to some of the reviews I read, I think we got lucky with a very good waitress. She was sweet and attentive.
I ordered the pasta platter to share with one of my friends. For $18/person, I expected a bigger portion and well, better food.
The stuffed ravioli was delicious. Everything else was just okay.
We each were able to sample the kobe meatball. I'm really not sure how this made van mag's "101 things to taste before you die". It was so salty and NOT the quality of kobe beef im used to. The rest of the platter had nothing else worth mentioning.
My friend got free tiramisu for dessert since it was her party. Pretty standard, nothing special.
I wouldn't return to this restaurant. There are MUCH better places for good italian food than Italian Kitchen..and at a much better value. I am thankful we had better service than what I was expecting based on reviews.
It will suffice to say that I registered for this site for the sole purpose of warning others about dining here. My experience was awful and I would NOT set foot in the restaurant again. If you are looking for a great dining experience steer clear.
The vegetables that came with the salmon were burnt and the gnocchi made no mention of hot chilly peppers. We sent back the salmon and it was re-plated and brought out with raw potatoes this time. The floor manager had the courage to come out and tell us that we should read the menu more carefully next time as it did say charred asparagus. I guess they didn't mention that charred equaled burnt and inedible!
That was enough for me... no chance I'll ever say a good thing about this restaurant. I tell everyone to save their money!
Pretty so-so restaurant. How many times can a Kobe meatball be reinvented? Lunch hours in dt are rather nutty but if one makes reservations and it's delayed by 15 minutes, I think an apology is in order. Food was edible. Nothing spectacular. Never order their platters. The pasta always comes out cold and tastes as if it has been sitting at a heating tray since morning. Portions are relatively small. Service was busy if not a bit strained. Understanding considering the zoo like atmosphere when it's slammed. Very little value. The room is pretty. Nice place to look at pretty people as to the food, it's so-so
I did not really have high expectations when dining out at Italian Kitchen because of some of the reviews. Food was okay shared the antipasto platter with my brother some hits and misses on the platter. Some menu items were overly salty and some quite bland according to the rest of friends. Service was not that great, our server rushed us and did not come by to check up on our table at all. The ambiance of the restaurant was quite nice. Modern, sleek, and a nice concept. The washrooms were nice as well. Overall Italian Kitchen lives up to the poor reviews.
Tried out this place for dine out 2008 - was very surprized I like it considering other friends have said its very noisy, but being a Sunday night and we had a early dining time 6:30 maybe thats why it was nice. The room is nicely decorated and we were placed up on the 2nd floor. I think downstairs would have been a bit more high traffic and noisy. I enjoyed the dineout menu and will definitely go back to try the pasta dishes, on the way out the smells from the open kitchen was very appetizing.
Well...I am working in another restaurant too..so I really watched about service system..
look like more staffs than the number of customers..
It could be better than understaffed, but my server was only one, and this restaurant look full of people with staffs and so loud and noisy with staffs chatting.
Finally I failed with selecting food, but I can't complaint
Because I know only very little things about Italian food. Reading menu was difficult for me..
dark and noisy. kitchen remind me hapa izakaya .
but Table arrangement is not that good.
This Saturday October 6, 2007 I along with 11 friends had reservations for 8:30pm for Italian Kitchen. We arrived at 8:30 and were told our table wasn't quite ready yet. Time passed and after about 20 minutes, we started to ask questions at which time the hostesses kept apolgizing and saying it would be soon. After 40 minutes of waiting, we were all quite upset and they brought everyone some champagne but with no answers or results. Finally, after waiting for 1 hour and 10 minutes, we were seated. We were given two plates of complimentary appetizers but at no time did a manager ever come and speak to us during this fiasco to apologize. In fact, I personally saw two managers watch us from the upstairs bar never once having the respect to come over and speak to us. I found the food to be lack lustre and bland, the atmosphere to be typical and most of all the service and management completely inadequate and impotent. The only bright spot was our server Jesse who really tried his best to make a terrible situation better. One common thread at our table was that we all cross paths with many people in our daily professional lives and none of us will ever recommend Italian Kitchen or ever return.
Took a friend to lunch. Did not have any expectations particularly since I can cook pasta myself. But I thought it would be a cool idea. We both ordered a pasta dish each and a bottle of mineral water.
To my surprise, half an hour later, we both consumed every morsel in the pasta bowls. It was really tasty. The meatballs were delicious. The presentation was excellent. I would have given an "outstanding" for my food rating, but pasta can't be outstanding when compared to French or Chinese food creations. But for comfort food, there is nothing bettter.
The dessert menu is impressive. My coffee was perfect. Overall, I was more than pleasantly surprised. I would go back. Definitely.
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 $20 pp, is very popular as people all around us were ordering it.
Ambiance - absolutely did not enjoy how crowded it was. We were literally 6 inches from the table on the right, and 1 foot from the table on the left. Hated it! Couldn't hear half of what he was saying and just felt like I was sharing my dining experience with two other couples.
I am more or less a regular for lunch and have been very satisfied at every visit - food is great, staff are attentive, and service is outstanding.
Had lunch with a friend (ok, this was several months ago, but I am a new member of dinehere) once and, in an off-hand, manner mentioned that the lunch seem to taking too long (it wasn't really, but I was in a bit of rush). Anyhow, lunch arrived shortly thereafter and it was great. But imagine my surprise when the management covered the bill. The reason - they had fallen short on their high service standard. I sort of protested and said 'the lunch wasn't exactly late' but, wow I thought, now that is service. And, of course, I continue to have lunch there on a more or less regular basis.
Go there for the food and expect high standards of service and quality - you will not be disappointed.
Tried Bruschetta sampler and Pasta platter. Both are good sampler to share.
I like the meatball and truflle pasta the most.
Pasta is cooked al dente, which is my preference, but some people might think they are undercooked.
The waitress seemed to care my boyfriend a lot more than she did care me.
She put her hand on his shoulder and talked close to him.
I guess she knew who is paying.
I think Italian Kitchen is a better alternative than Cactus Club.
Interior decoration is modern and nice, but it's very noisy.
The mirrored bathroom was interesting.
This is a place that's about the benjamin$. The hostesses will seat you according to your look and the efficient, if cool, service takes over from there. The food is Italian but more Tony Montana than Mamma Mia. By this I mean is that it's very much N.American/expense cheque Italian, often tasy but a little soulless. There are exceptions and that is the spaghetti and Kobe beef meatballs. How this gem got on the menu is a mystery as it's everything a place like this aspires to - audacious, delicious, messy and well served and well priced. The wine list has some aggregious markups, depending on your taste, catering again to the expense accounts but again, you can find some decent offerings there. Still, this is a place to eat, pay and move from and there's very little here that encourages you to linger.
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...
The 7 of us made a reservation at 6.30 on a Saturday evening, but not all of us arrived till another 20 minutes later. The restaurant was full and remained full during the two hours we were there. We never got rushed to order or anything at all, which we appreciated. But I reckon that also had to do with the fact that our server was simply too busy to care anyway.
I had the Panzanella salad, with a side of soft polenta Bolognese. I have never had Panzanella salad before, so I'm not sure if this is supposed to be a warm salad, and be so moist (that is, before I blended in the salad dressing). Although it was not what I expected, I quite liked it. The portion was reasonable for the $10 price tag. The polenta ($8) was likely in reasonable portion, but it seemed under-seasoned and a bit bland to me.
My companions enjoyed their food in general - among the food they ordered, there were the fish platter, the spaghetti with 4 pretty big meatballs, the honey mussels appetizer, and the calamari appetizer. I had some bites of the calamari, and was very impressed - they were fried quite perfectly, not greasy, and seasoned just right. Given the $11 price tag, I think it was an excellent deal.
The music in the restaurant was ridiculously loud - we ought to yell in order to barely hear each other.
Went there to celebrate a family dinner and was impressed with everything except the most important part - the food.
It was decent but I guess I would just expecting way more from such a nice place.
Entrees at our table included: Monkfish, Halibut, 2 different pastas, beef carpacio, osso bucco and some others I can't recall. I tried almost every entree and nothing stood out as being great. Most of the entrees needed salt, the monkfish was way overcooked.
Might be a good place for a date in the summer if you sit on the 2nd floor right by the open floor to ceiling windows.
Italian kitchen seems to have been designed for the suburban , big hair crowd . Flashy tacky decor . Food that is average at best and bland always . Service is fine but no better than at Anton's or any other suburban pasta place . In fact for the price Anton's is a much better deal as the food is tastier and comes in bigger servings .
Maybe it was an off night but I won't be back soon .