Trattoria Italian Kitchen offers casual Italian dining and a focus on sharing. The menu steps up traditional trattoria style cuisine and features hand stretched pizzas, savoury bruschetta, delectable antipasto, pasta and meat platters, fresh fish and familiar Italian staple items like Veal Piccata and Tiramisu with an aim to keep most of our menu items at $15 or less.
Excited to finally try this restaurant, my partner and I were not surprised that the wait for 2 on the patio would be 'about 30min.' Unfortunately the waiting area was full and so we stood around waiting. 45 minutes later, the manager called us and sat us in the restaurant. Before we sat we told him we had requested the patio, "Well, that will be another half hour, do you want to sit here, or not" was his rude response. After we spoke to the host she said that there was a 'miscommunication' between her and the manager.
We then returned to our standing position and waited for a table outside- the inside is far to noisy for a romantic dinner, and besides- sitting next to others on bar stools isn't great.
Whilst we were waiting, I noticed the bartenders/baristers making the coffee/drinks. As I am a server myself I notice these things, and couldn't help but realise that on numerous occassions, hot drinks were being left on the counter for 10 minutes, or more. Someone's espresso and Americano were not even steaming by the time it left the station! The fact that hot drinks were left to go cold, numerous times in the hour that I waited, while the managers/bussers/servers simply walked past is ridiculous! Where I have worked the hot drinks and hot food are priorities to be taken out by whoever- no matter what you're busy with.
We eventually were sat, over an hour later and I must admit that our server was nice, fairly knowledgeable and good at up-selling. We ordered the Pasta-platter and when we were told that it comes with nothing (no measly garlic bread/small greens? anything!) i ordered a salad to go with. The server suggested a more fancier salad, but i said no i just felt like a basic green salad-lettuce, tomato etc... He proceeded to tell me this salad of his is the greatest and so i thought, why not try it! cheese and bread, tomato and grapes. Well, the salad came 10 minutes later- although i had said that i want the salad with the main- only to realize that it was a WARM salad! How could the server fail to mention this important detail? It was tasty although not with my meal or anything I wanted.
I was surprised that we didn't get a bread-basket or anything to snack on since the wait is always so long and we were starving by the time we sat down.
When the main came, it looked absolutely drab. The lasagne was good, very plain. The meat-balls tasted like my mothers meat-loaf, the 'al-dente' penne was raw and the pesto spaggetti was flavour-less.
I commented that it felt as though I had gone over to a friends house for dinner and was eating out of obligation and not because I enjoyed the meal.
In all fairness the chocolate-brownie dessert was delicious, but not what I had gone out for.
I will definitely not be returning here, for 2 people with 2 drinks (another 2 while we waited), one main and dessert (no coffee because I like mine hot!), the bill was close to $100- definitely not worth it.
I presume that the restaurant is getting by on their name and who the owners are, but all in all- no value, mediocre food, bad management, poor organization.
We've eaten there 3 times, and the food is quite good, except for the last time. The meatballs which we had enjoyed before, turned out exceedingly peppery this last time. Everything else just turned out to be a notch down from what we had experienced the time before. Do NOT eat inside during dinner. It is way too loud. I mean REALLY loud. We couldn't hear each other across the small table, and conversation was impossible. Even our server misheard us and got our order wrong. Try to get an outside table for dinner (they have heaters), or go for lunch.
After reading some reviews, I was a little hesitant to try this restaurant, but I am so glad we did!
Arriving at around 5:30pm and were greeted by a friendly staff member and were quickly seated in the front of the dining room. We were rather early, beating the rush. There is always a line-up out the door around the prime dining hours.
The room has an open concept, so you can hear everything and around Christmas time people do celebrate, so if you are looking for a quite romantic evening perhaps try a restaurant that is just that, small dark and quiet. The Trattoria is meant to be fun, loud and buzzing with energy.
Looking over the menu we were surprised at how decent the prices were. The meat and fish are served 'a la carte' but ranging from $12-$15, (with the exception of the half chicken , I think it was $18). I am willing to pay the extra five bucks for some veggies or risotto so I would say that its a pretty standard price, most restaurants charge anywhere between $19-$40 for a veal entree.
The three of us ordered the pasta platter for two ($15 per person) and a veal dish (on its own, no side). We all love to eat and this was exactly what we needed, no left overs but the perfect amount.
The pasta was great, its hard to really 'wow' a person with pasta but the flavors were quite satisfying, and not over done. The veal was tasty, three nice sized pieces served with a butter and capers sauce.
All in all? Our group really enjoyed the experience. The service was prompt and professional, not intrusive. The food delicious and worth trying out!!! Go before 6:30 or you will have to wait :)
I thought the food was very good. had lamb shank and shared 3 sides: parmesan risotto, grill vegetables and roasted potatoes.
Two qualms here:
1. we waited about 45 minutes for a seat which isn't the end of the world because we had drinks by the bar, BUT a group of four who came after us got seated first. I understand this is because a table for four came up, but it looks bad given the fact we were waiting 20 minutes longer than them.
2. our server wasn't particularily friendly, but did make good suggestions on the good.
My only complaint is the fact the meat comes by itself and any sides you want must be ordered separately. That said, our lamb shanks were only $14 and we shared 3 sides at $6 each...total per person was about $25-30 which was reasonable. 2 sides are actually enough for 2 people which would make it about $20/person which is quite reasonable.
It is loud, but we didn't mind. Found it a nice place to be on a Saturday night. If you're going for a romantic dinner, you need to spend a few more bucks and go to that type of place. For what it is, its great especially on a weekend night.
The smell of the food here is amazing but the taste never quite lives up to the aromas despite this Trattoria Kitchen represents really good value. They don't take reservations which can be a pain if you've got plans but there's usually space at the bar or waiting area to have a drink while you wait (or plenty of nearby restaurants if you don't want to wait). The service is pleasant although the music is too loud and detracts from the atmosphere. The decor is nice although it is nice in that bachelor pad type way that seems popular in a lot of restaurants in Vancouver.
This restaurant is located at the old Chianti restaurant. FYI, they have plenty of rooftop parking available.
The interior is nicely designed, great balance between intimacy and liveliness. The place is doing very good business, we went on a Monday night and the place was packed.
Service was good as waiter was attentive and patient. However, food is not consistent. The pizza was very nice, the crust is perfect, but would have wanted to have more cheese on it. The pasta dish I had was excellent, all ingredients seemed very fresh. However, I was let down by their tiramisu, very runny and lacked any liquer flavour nor mascaporne taste. A lot of places make better tiramisu than here.
Overall, a great addition to the 4th avenue eateries, just don't order tiramisu.
Like the previous reviewer, I also thought this place was okay, but nothing to call home about.
The chickpea bruschetta that I usually enjoy at Italian kitchen is quite good, but here, it was a little salty. The pastas we ordered were okay, but they sort of had that "in your face" taste to them, something you'd expect at a lower end restaurant. Not that they were bad, but nothing I'd go back for. The highlight was the kobe meatballs, which were nice and spicy. Wine list is tepid.
For the price, it's okay - it's around the same as some of the chain restaurants out there, so at least that aspect is redeeming.
Went with two friends and we shared the pasta sampler platter for three. I think we should have ordered individual pasta dishes because they were about the same price and probably would have been better. The pasta platter wasn't hot enough and nothing on the platter stood out or was really outstanding. There was no salt or pepper to be seen and we had to battle to get our waitresses attention even though it was late afternoon and it wasn't busy yet. We finally got some salt but the giant rock of salt and the rasp was really over the top; pretty preposterous. I have to say I'm so sorry I didn't go to Rocky Mountain Flatbread instead; I love their salads and the pizzas are good also.
Checked out their Dine out preview. Very disappointed. Food mediocre at best. Large servings but when the taste/flavour isn't there, why bother? We came early but ambience was painfully loud, service was non-existant, and had to remind servers rushing past that we were ready for next course. And by the way, why did my soup look different from my neighbour's? Were there ingredients missing? Mine tasted like pan drippings and not soup! But maybe it was suppose to.
First visit to this restaurant. Pros: 1) the lemoncello drink (cannot recall the name, but near the sangria on the menu) - delicious - not a heavy alcoholic hit on the tastebuds but lemony, not too sweet, a nice grown-up lemonade.; 2) the bruschetta combo was very nice and the bread it was served on, very good (apparently the same base as for their pizza). Cons: 2) very loud, with only the base of the music being heard and needed to talk quite loudly to be heard by dining companions. Average: the pasta platter: I thought the spagetti and kobe meatballs were nice and the meatballs had a little bit of spice to them and not too dry a texture; the lasagne had a nice flavour and, if you like a very dense lasagne due to pasta layers, fine; the gnocchi with pesto, I cannot recommend, more doughy than anything and quite large, even with more sauce they would have not been improved; the penne, not really much flavour. However, the serving size was fine for two people. I would consider coming back as I would like to try a couple of their pizzas based on the bruschetta base (have have a pitcher of that lemoncello drink) but not with more than 4 people as it would too hard to talk comfortably in a larger group due to the noise.
food: ordered the pasta platter for 2: came with spaghetti and meatballs, pesto pasta, penne with tomato sauce, lasagna. I liked the pesto dish the best. all pastas cooked perfectly al dente. spaghetti and meatballs not as good as downtown location (possibly due to difference in sauce). Lasagna yummy if a little salty. At $15/person, value is incredible. Cheaper than going to Earl's and food is of better quality
service: wait staff here are much friendlier than their snooty downtown counterparts. all were friendly from the hostess, waitress and the kitchen staff I nearly bowled over on way to the bathroom
Value: as mentioned platter was $15/person. portions of each pasta generous and cheaper than the chains like Earl's/Cactus, etc.
Ambiance: it's a very hip setting. I like the clientele at the 4th location - mix of businesspeople, some students, families, friends. Very all encompassing and inclusive. Place was clean. It does get a little loud with the music and people chattering but if you go earlier for lunch (say 11:30), it's actually at a very good sound level.
Tried this on halloween night.. I think the service level would of been better if it wasn't so bloody loud inside.. haha =)
the food was great..
brushetta sampler- nice presentation and great taste overall. the mushroom one was the tastiest !
pasta platter- delicious and generous in portions. the kobe lasagna is to die for.. i am just going to order that one next time.
Its too bad I did not read the reviews first.
A friend said the food was good but the place was a bit noisy.
In fact it was realy noisy, not a good place to go for a nice dinner and conservation, and the tables are too close together. The man next table nearly took out the candle on our table as he was trying to get off the bench seat.
The room is similar to the Alberni location, very bar like and open.
We won't be back, too noisy for our taste. The food was good and service was excellent but the environment was not right.
My partner and I went on a saturday afternoon, ordered the Carne & Pesche Platter for 2, it's only $30 but it comes with grilled lamb chops (the seasoning was good), a whole roasted trout (boneless and juicy), 2 pieces of veals, and 2 grilled jumbo prawns, along with salad and beets.
Food was very good for the price.
Decor is nice, airy and modern, but the tables are kinda clattered togethered.
Service is professional and prompt.
This place doesnt really accept reservations for dinner so that is my only complaint.
Was looking forward to delicious pasta but was disappointed. The two pasta dishes we ordered tasted bland and was not flavorful. Do the cooks even taste it before serving it? I notice serving portions were not consistent. My dish of spaghetti and Kobe meatballs was 30% less than the dish at the next table (WTH?). Bruschetta sampler was good but might as well ordered a pizza. Service was acceptable as the place was busy due to a pasta special night. The restaurant seemed cramped, dark and very loud. Dont expect a quiet, romantic dinner at this place.
Trattoria Kitchen suffers from symptoms often seen among ambitious, business minded restaurant groups like the Glowbal Group. The food is updated 1950's style american italian (see 'red sauce joint' or 'wedding hall food' ) served on pretty plates at 2010 Vancouver prices. The premise of serving this kind of meat and potatos food in such a trendy, faux-upscale environment, and at such prices, makes me feel duped from the moment I opened the menu. But, judging by the crowd, patrons here are accustomed or oblivious to the poor value. In all fairness, this bustling (overstaffed), loud (techno), glitzy(mirrors and fake marble tables) room is a welcome change to Kitsilano's delicious but sleepy restaurant scene, Its a touch of Montreal's St. Laurent Boulevard on West 4th. But that is not saying much about the food.
Of the half dozen dishes that crossed my lips, all were so laden with clarified butter, cheap oil and cheese that their flavours were indistiguishable. Tomato sauces were scorched and oversalted, cream sauces all tasted of the same overbearing cheese, and the so-called Kobe meatballs were average at best. We ordered sides of mixed vegetables, brussel sprouts and parmesan risotto. The vegetables were saturated in poor quality olive oil. The brussel sprouts were fried (in what tasted like peanut oil) until they tasted like Cape Cod potato chips--all crackle, no toothy crunch. The parmesan risotto, though nice and al dente, pooled with oil and clarified butter, without a hint of creaminess, and with enough molten cheese to unpleasantly coat teeth with each bite. Meat and fish dishes (most a la cart) were nicely cooked, but without any distinct flavour. Two highlights were the panzanella salad, and the whole trout stuffed with fennel wich was spared the clarified butter squeezebottle and mercifully roasted.
What's most dispointing about Trattoria, is that the well-meaning staff appears to be operating in a constant state of fear of management. I do not want to see a scowling bull of a manager barking orders, pointing fingers and chastizing staff on the floor. I have often seen this attitude at Glowbal Group's other restaurants, especially Sanafir and Globe. It leads to overbearing service, and an overall chaotic and unpleasant experience. I feel for the staff at these places, who are forced to push sales and turn tables to the discomfort of the clients.
All in all, Trattoria makes me feel slightly used and abused, more like cattle than a guest. If you like a loud scene and don't mind generic food, you may enjoy it.
My old favourite restaurant, Chianti Cafe, used to be in the building. I was somewhat skeptical about trying its replacement while still mourning it's closure. Totally blown away by the food. I've been twice so far and both times ordered the Strozzapreti pasta. My friend the first time ordered the Spaghetti with Kobe meatballs, and the second time my date had Linguini with tiger prawns. Amazing, as were both bruschettas I tried, the tomato one and the chickpea. I'm not a big wine drinker, so I regret not being able to review their list, but I tried the raspberry mojito (not bad, not fantastic) and the Sangria Blanc pitcher (unbelievable). All in all totally worth it for the food. Reasonably priced, but drinks were a little pricey which is where I'm sure most of their profits come from.
I was put off both times by the matre'd coming over to our table and trying to promote their "sister restaurants". He handed us out little flyers and coupons wile he unfolded our napkins and asked us about our meals. I was blown away from the service and food but would have tipped much more if this ploy for business had been skipped. I walked in feeling like a "guest" and the blatant advertising turned me into a "target audience".
I also resent the refusal to take reservations for dinner. We waited about 25 minutes around 530 on a Friday, and 20 minutes around 7 on a Tuesday. The staff were fantastic about taking care of those waiting, though, offering appy samplers and serving drinks.
My friend and I went here for brunch, and based on that experience, came back a few days later for dinner. It was beyond our expectations. Having travelled Italy, and lived in NY for several years, I've experienced many restaurants attempting to serve Italian food.
This place had the freshest pasta, and tastiest sauces (or as some may say, 'gravy'), all without overdoing it, as many Italian restaurants tend to do. The beef carpaccio was tender and delicious, the cabonara was creamy and flavorful, but still allowed the pasta's taste to come through. The Bruschetta was crispy on the edges and soft thruout. I would recommend this restaurant without reservation.
Because we arrived at 5PM, we were seated right away. Our server was cheerful and pleasant...unfortunately, it went downhill from there. There were only 2 other tables at the time but I swear we were in the middle of a midway...one table was whooping it up so loud and the staff made no attempt to quiet them down...conversation was impossible. Strike one.
We were told this place had great prices and the menu showed most entrees to be in the $12-$15 range...great..but...that's when our friendly server explained that everything was "a la carte". Everything comes with nothing; it's all extra. Strike two.
There were four of us so we ordered 2 entrees plus their sharing platter for 2 along with some "sides". The server told us there would be plenty for all of us. Being that 3 of us were light eaters, we went along with that. The food came fairly quickly, it was of average quality but we think they served us portions from the children's menu. Strike three.
We left quickly and ordered some take out sushi down the street. If we wanted Spaghetti Factory quality food we would have gone there and paid way cheaper prices and had a much more enjoyable time. Prbably should have...
We're definitely not coming back...
We got there on a Thursday night and it was packed. We had to wait for about 15 mins, but unlike other restaurants, they have a fairly large waiting area where you can sit and zip on a couple of drinks before getting your table. I thought that was nice. We got to our table and ordered some appies before the main course. I must say, the mushroom bruschetta was a delight. I definitely recommend it. Then we got a zesty Salmon dish with grilled veggies and a pasta dish that included pesto, goat cheese, and a wonderful sundried tomato paste. To finish it off, we ordered these dessert balls with dark chocolate filling inside, dipped in a wonderful creamy sauce. Very nice indeed. My girlfriend and I were very satisfied with the food, the service and our attentive waitress. Price was fair and average, but yes it was well worth the experience. I'd definitely recommend this place to friends and would also visit this place again in the near future.