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.
It was my second time going, I decided to bring my boyfriend since he loves pasta.
The ambiance was great, it was pretty packed for a Sunday evening.
The server was quick to serve us as we haven't even taken off our coats and they were asking if we would like something to drink. I was waiting to hear the Risotto of the day, and wasn't told what it was.
We ordered mussels for appetizer, and half the mussels weren't even opened. We were disappointed with that.
Our pasta was good, but it was something we could have created at home easily. The donuts were recommended for dessert, and it came in 3 small pieces. Very disappointing as my boyfriend is a huge dessert fanatic.
I don't think we will be going back for some time.
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.
My friend and I visited this restaurant yesterday night for the beginning of Dine Out Event.
Service: Manager/hostess greeted us right away as we walked in, giving us a choice of the downstairs (more chic and bar like atmosphere (louder)) or the upstairs (which was more dining room like). Our server came immediately over. Was very helpful with the menu and offered his recommendations expertly. He really seemed to enjoy his work and serving us. Water was filled all the time!!
Ambiance: It is a lively place with noise but in a nice sort of way. I liked how there was glass on the walls which made the downstairs look more bigger than it really is. The kitchen is a completely open kitchen concept and we saw the action as it unfolded, which was exciting.
Food: The food tastes great. It was great portions too which I really loved. I think you would really get your money's worth here. Beware of the cocktail menu, it's so yummy, you aren't even aware that you've had 3 drinks before your dessert comes. To try at the bar: Dolcemoto, Lemon drop martini, their New Year's special drink with actual 24K gold flakes on top.
Should definitely try the spinach and cacciocavalo canneloni with pommodoro sauce or calamari for appies, Roasted sole with baby lobster tail, chestnuts and italian parsley butter for entree.
Overall, we would come back here for a dinner before a night out of town!
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.
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.
Have been to Italian Kitchen four times now....the first time was the week they opened...the service and food was fabulous. The second time, the waitress couldn't be bother by us because the place was hopping! The food was still good-great but the service was totally disapointing. The third time we visited, the food again was great, the service was totally substandard. The male waiter kept making an excuse for forgetting us; we had to ask the maitre-dee to take our order and then the waiter came back to say he was sooooo busy and "regretted forgetting about us"....he should be fired!!! In fact, I'm not sure the maitre-dee even realize how bad he was!!! The fourth time we visited for lunch (vs dinner in the previous visits). The food was great, I had a chance to speak with one of the owners and the service was great.
So you may ask why I keep coming back here with the substandard service...it's because it's close, it has great food and a great atmosphere....but if they don't get their service act together....ciao!!! won't be back!!!
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.
I came here for my 23rd birthday last night. I had many recommendations from my colleagues and friends that this place was one of the best restaurants in town, so I decided I'd host my party here. I made a reservation for 15 people three weeks prior to the event, confirmed with the hostess on the phone a week later, and then the day before my event, I reconfirmed with the hostess that it was for a party of 15.
The majority of my party showed up early, and the hostess came up and asked if I had booked a reservation for 12. What? I thought we had gone over the party size 3 times already? No big deal - none of us were in a rush and the restaurant was already packed. There's no point in making a big fuss out of a misunderstanding. However, we were not seated for another 30 minutes despite the fact that I had made reservations.
Let's talk about food:
I can't give an honest review on the food because I was so sick that I couldn't even taste anything. I got the seafood fettuccine and although I couldn't taste it, I think it was probably pretty decent. The portion size was fair. I'm quite a large portion eater, so to say that I was full and satisfied is a lie.
A few of my friends got their $28 dine out menu. And they were disappointed with the portion sizes. I realize that it's a sampler menu but wow, 5 little ravioli's for the entree? They gulfed it up in two bites.
What is worth your value though is the platter that is $21 a person that needs to be shared with a minimum of two people. You get a long dish with 3-4 different pastas and it looked delicious.
Dessert was pretty good! I was able to somehow taste my dessert, but the portion of the dessert was rather disappointing. I suspect it's because I got the dessert for free, but I shouldn't be eating too much sweets anyways. I ordered the salted caramel chocolate torte with earl grey ice cream. Man, it was delicious. The ice cream tasted fresh and homemade served on a bed of candied pecans.
This is an upscale restaurant, and as most people know, portion sizes are small where as presentation is more important than the amount.
Well, I ranted a bit about the party size mix up already. The service was mediocre at best. Our waitress was very nice, and did come back a few times to make sure we were okay, but it was difficult to flag her down because of how busy it was. On top of that, a group of 30 people were also seated around the same time we were there. A friend of mine had his scotch accidentally topped off with water and the waitress was extremely nice in replacing the scotch for him even though we didn't ask for another one. Overall, aside from the early mix up, we had exceptional service. Our waitress was very catering to our needs and when I ordered off of their regular menu rather than the large party menu, she didn't give me any kind of attitude or say 'no'.
For the price that I paid for my meal, it was good value. The reason why I gave the value a low rating is because of the dine out menu. For $30, it wasn't worth it. It wasn't filling. You are better off ordering from the regular menu and be just near full. The guests who ordered off the dine out menu came into the restaurant starving, and left the restaurant hungry.
Slightly too loud, but it is a great environment to be in when you are with your friends. This place is obviously a well established environment, so even the most negative review on this page won't run the place to the ground. Despite the small portions, I would like to come here again.
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.
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...
There were about 14 of us that dined here on a Saturday night. Service was efficient but maybe too "casual/didn't care' attitude. Perhaps he knew he was automatically going to get a 18% gratuity (added onto our bill for bigger parties). My partner and I shared the tomato, basil, olive oil bruschetta, ahi tuna carpaccio, and the spaghetti with kobe meatballs. The food was good. For drinks we had a mojito, a martini, a beer & 2 glasses of wine. Our bill with tax & 18% gratuity came to $120. The food was reasonably priced but the drinks were over priced. The music was too loud for my liking. It was difficult to speak to the person across the table without yelling. I probably wouldn't return to this place unless someone else wanted to go really badly. There are so many other good restaurants in Vancouver for the same or better quality food with much better value.