I was passing by and was attracted by the nice decor of the restaurant seen from the street through it's large glass windows. In terms of decor, this place has to be the nicest among Vietnamese restaurants I have been to, with stones on the walls, slate-looking floor tiles, and a warm ambiance, tastefully lit by modern lighting, and enhanced by real plants and real-looking fake plants. The interior design reminds me of 4- or 5-star restaurants one would find at a ski resort. The food was outstanding - best pho I have tasted, with a very fresh looking and tasting soup base, noodles perfectly cooked to al dente, and the beef tender and tasty even though it had become well done by being soaked in the steaming hot soup for so long because I was taking my time eating the appetizer spring rolls. And those spring rolls were fresh off the deep fryer, the hotest I had ever encountered, crispy on the outside yet juicy on the inside. Service was attentive and courteous. Overall, the best Vietnamese cuisine experience in my life.
In honour of national cheese day, I came down to La Grotta for some delicious sandwiches. But not just today. Today was just an excuse to come. La Grotta del Formaggio is one of my regular stops whenever I'm driving by Commercial Drive to get a sandwich.
But it's not just any regular sandwich. There are a numerous number of toppings to choose from, and quite the variety of cheese that would drive any cheese lover insane. Whatever it is you choose, you can't go bad, because the quality of the ingredients, from meat, breads, oils and other interesting toppings is top notch.
Just the thought of a focaccia from here makes my mouth water.
It was years ago when I last dined here. Not that I did not have a good experience that previous time, but just that this is not a neighbourhood I pass by much in my running of errands around town. This time, I went for lunch there with two others. Their prix fixe lunch menu contained quite a number of good choices, so I went for that (2 courses for $23). The appetizer seafood salad was of a very decent portion, and everything was fresh and tasty. The seared steelhead as main course was excellently done, with the skin crispy yet the meat medium well (which is the way I like it). The other guests had just one a la carte dish each, both seafood, and both were very well prepared and presented. Service was very good, and the place was bright with nice decor. I will return.
I booked a party of 10 here for a Friday night. About 3-4 hours before the reservation the restaurant called me and told me that there would be a birthday party there that night and that it would be loud. I thought "OK, birthday parties and a loud setting are not unusual for a restaurant - its not like that never happens in other restaurants."
At first things were going fine - service was tolerably punctual and food was alright (nothing to write home about). About an hour into our night they turned up the volume ***LOUD** - and I mean painfully loud so that our ears hurt, louder than any other places, including ones like the Lamplighter or the Blarney Stone or any club I've ever been to. It was loud to the point where even shouting as loud as possible at a friend right next to me we could not hear each other. At first we though they just really love the song that was playing and we suffered through it. When it continued for the third song we finally asked them to turn it down a little. After 10 minutes the volume does go down a bit and we think that its finally over....
Next thing I know, a very rude bartender/server named Stephanie flops down next to me without saying excuse me for interrupting the conversation I was trying to have with my friend. First thing she blurts at me is "I called you." She then proceeds to lecture me that she called and warned me that it would be loud. She repeats this over and over again that she called me 3 times that day (as if the number of times matters - and I have voicemail anyway). At some point I did mention that it doesn't matter how many times she called me especially since she was calling during regular business hours and I was still at work. At this point she makes an obscene gesture and says "Well im SORRY i don't memorize your work schedule!"- I was shocked to be treated this way.
I tried reasoning with her that I'm not asking for the sound to be completely off just to turn it down a little so it doesn't hurt (we were seated right under the speaker too). She tells me that there's a favorite customer having their birthday party and that there's "50 people at the bar" (there were actually more like 20 people at the bar). I tell her they shouldn't be favoring only one customer that they have customers both at the front and the back of the restaurant. She then has the audacity to tell me "Well they're making us a lot more money than you are."
Again, I was shocked to be spoken to that way - our party of 10 ordered full meals and drinks. I finally told her to stop giving me attitude and get her manager. She simply stormed off like a petulant child.
Her manager comes out a minute later. He apologizes for the server but continues to be completely unreasonable telling me that this insanely uncomfortable volume is just what they do at central bistro - that its a "party" kind of place. I point out there there is no dance floor, there are table and chairs and we are trying to sit and socialize. He starts lecturing again that they called and "warned" that it would be loud. I answer again that "loud" is one thing, that birthday parties and loud restaurants are not unique - its not like other restaurants are quiet like libraries, and that the level of loud we're talking here is well beyond that. I mentioned to him that they also put us right under the speaker and he didn't care at all. I also said that since we were treated so poorly and so rudely by the restaurant and by Stephanie especially we should not be forced to pay the 18% automatic gratuity - he tells me that that's a "totally different thing." --- I dont see how: If the 18% GRATUITY it meant for appreciation of good service then they sure as hell did not deserve it since we got bad service topped with rudeness.
He kept repeating that they called and I said that the next time they "warn" someone they should explain that it will be ear piercingly and uncomfortably loud beyond any reasonable point, not just "loud". He just said "well I'm sorry our message did not convey that."
The manager, although unlike Stephanie he kept his tongue in check, was not helpful, inconsiderate, and he just didn't give a damn about our party of 10.
As someone who has worked as a server in restaurants for 5 years I am appalled that this kind of treatment of customers in considered ok.
Came here with my work for Christmas office party. It was raining so I wore boots and changed my shoes once inside. They graciouslly store my boots and umbrella too!
We ordered both white and reg wines for the table and never ran out. Service was exceptional even though they were busy. View second to none.
We all had different items, meat, vegetarian, pasta and no one had anything but rave reviews. I have never had a bad meal this place. I got kudos for booking the venue and am in charge of next year's party. we'llbe back. Thanks Seasons.
The Italian word 'arrabbiata' literally means 'angry'. In culinary terms, it refers to a spicy tomato sauce. Pasta with arrabbiata sauce has always been a favorite, simple classic (and safe) Italian choice for me. However, this was not the case on the night of our company Christmas dinner last month.
I was looking forward to an exceptional meal, given the fine dining venue and based on prior positive experiences at this restaurant.
The evening of our dinner was a miserable night of monsoon-like heavy rain. Getting to the place wasn't fun and they don't have a covered area for the valet parking. The road and area in front of the restaurant is poorly lit at night. Once inside, with my soaked shoes, the place was unpleasantly loud from people speaking very loudly in an effort to be heard over the cacophony of combined noises. That I could understand, as it was the pre-Christmas period when many company functions are happening in the city's restaurants.
I was not happy with but understanding of the slow service and the poor location where we were seated. They were booked beyond capacity. Our round table was placed in the pathway of all the servers and was very obviously not normally in that position. They had clearly added some tables to accommodate more diners because of the pre-Christmas rush. We were between the tables along the windows and the inner row of tables. Throughout our dinner wait staff squeezed past our chairs and it was disruptive and made me want to eat and run. It was not a relaxing atmosphere and it was very hard to hear the people at my table.
The view of Vancouver at night was spectacular, despite the rain. If the place had not been so noisy, it would have made for a beautiful, relaxing backdrop. Also not fun was the presence of diners who brought small noisy children. One doesn't expect 'family restaurant' ambience in a fine dining venue...
Their menu does not have many choices for non-meat-eaters. I decided on the Penne Arrabbiata: roasted eggplant, spicy tomato sauce, crumbled goat cheese. I felt it was a 'can't go wrong' choice and I've always loved the simple tomato sauce enlivened by the addition of chili pepper flakes. As I was late joining my group, they had already been served drinks. My companions were drinking red wine and the waitress promptly tilted the bottle over my glass but I told her I prefer to drink white wine. She didn't look too happy that I 'had to be different'. She went away and I waited for my glass of wine. And waited. And waited. I waited about 20 min to finally get my glass of white wine, this, after trying to figure out who our server was and trying to flag someone down to ask them to investigate the whereabouts and ETA of my glass of wine. I figured that possibly the heavy rain had impeded the harvesting of the grapes and the pressing etc...
It was clear the waitress had forgotten about my wine and once I asked about it, she returned in minutes with a glass. The service remained uneven. Almost everyone else received their entrees while 3 of us had to wait for our food to arrive. It took quite a while to get our entrees.
I could see at a glance (being an experienced pasta cook myself) that the Penne was not properly cooked. I like my pasta al dente but these penne had barely had time to get their feet wet in the pot of water...At a restaurant of this caliber, I would expect them to make fresh pasta but they don't. This was dried pasta and I could not believe how underdone it was! It was still hard in the middle. Basically inedible. So far the evening had not been a winner, between the horrendous long commute in the pouring rain, squelching through rivulets of rain to get inside the place, the excessive noise inside it and the 20 minute wait to get a glass of wine, while all my companions sipped away at their beverages.
The waitress didn't come to check how everything was for some time. During this time I attempted to eat my barely cooked meal. I had not had lunch that day and was really famished. The rigid penne sat in a small puddle of tomato sauce, which didn't have much flavor, certainly it was missing the heat from the chili peppers that make regular tomato sauce an arrabbiata sauce. I love eggplant and the menu's promise of 'roasted eggplant' had persuaded me to order this dish, even though eggplant is not really included in a classic arrabbiata sauce (the classic eggplant/tomato sauce is 'alla Norma'). I guess they can legally claim this dish has eggplant because I did find a few fragments, which combined would aggregate to about 1 Tablespoon. Whoa...that's alotta eggplant-a! The little scraps of eggplant were not evenly cooked, some were falling apart and others were still a little hard. The 'crumbled goat cheese' was more like a very, very light dusting of white, which made me wonder how they got it dispersed so thinly, given the clumpy sticky nature of fresh goat cheese. I'd say there was perhaps a total of 3 tablespoons of sauce, eggplant fragments and ghost of goat cheese. Not what I'd call good value for a $19 pasta dish. What I'd call a total rip-off, actually.
As the penne were inedible, I scraped up the bits of sauce and hoped that would fool my stomach into thinking it had been fed a meal. While I was scraping away, the waitress finally made her rounds at our table asking how our meals were. I told her mine was undercooked. She gave me 'the eye' and said "you mean it's al dente' and I said, 'no, it hasn't gotten to the al dente stage yet, it's hard, undercooked'. She offered to take it back and I told her no thanks, I'm starving and I can't wait for a re-do, I'll just eat the sauce (what tiny amounts of it were there). I never send anything back for a re-do, having heard way too many insider horror stories of what happens when you send food back when you're not satisfied. I didn't want to be served something possibly with an extra 'mystery' ingredient, if you know what I mean.
A few of us ordered dessert and I was pleased to see they still had the Sunburnt Lemon Pie on their dessert menu - I'd tried it years ago and I remembered it was delicious. It didn't disappoint. It was delightfully tart, with the thinnest burnt sugar crust and two fruit coulis (the passion fruit was fantastic). I was still so hungry after the non-meal and could have eaten 3 of these slim wedges of lemon pie! This dessert is a winner and I can see why it's still on their menu. It's perfect and very light & refreshing. This dessert I would rate a 4 - Outstanding but as I'm really reviewing my dinner ie my entrée, I have to give that the rating it deserved 1 - Poor.
I wouldn't recommend coming to this restaurant when they are booked to capacity. Too loud and service suffers. I've had lunch and dinner there at more normal times and the service and food were more consistent.
Skip the Penne Arrabbiata. What does that say about a chef - not knowing how to cook dry penne pasta?? I know what Gordon Ramsay would say and so do you...
Stepho's on Robson is the sister store to Stepho's on Davie. This location has only been open for a about a year.
The interior is very similar to the Davie restaurant. Greek/Mediterranean design.
We went to eat around 5PM on a Friday. We were able to get a seat as soon as we walked in.
Service was good. Multiple servers working the floor. Took our orders promptly, came back for water often.
We ordered one Beef Souvlaki Large, and one Lamb plate Large.
While the beef skewers were well seasoned and flavorful, the lamb plate was disappointing. The lamb was lukewarm temperature, and FLAVORLESS.
Both dishes came with a generous amount of rice, and veggies. The pita bread was warm with a side of tzatziki.
Overall, Stepho's is good. Skip the Chicken and the Lamb. Go for the Beef.
I went here with a friend after the lunch hour. The place wasn't full,. My first time here, I didn't know if we were supposed to wait to be seated or if it was a coffee shop style dining. (Side Note: The sign near the entrance door said CLOSED, but their other OPEN sign was lit. Confused, I thought they were closed at first.)
We walked in towards the front counter, and a young lady asked if we were there to dine in. We were seated on the patio, which was neat but the the view was obscured by the moist on the glass... like a green house effect. Natural light was nice because inside was dark.
Took a look at the menu, and the lamb dish with rice, and veggies caught our attention. We ordered two of the lamb dishes. We were so excited to try the food. Authentic Palestinian. We were soon disappointed.
The portions were laughable and insulting to the diner. A small portion of rice, some cut up radish, and measly portion of meat. I thought this was a joke or an appetizer dish, but it was the actual potion.
I mentioned to the owner that my dining companion wanted a bigger portion and the ladies in the kitchen went 'Awwww'.
Fine Cuisine doesn't have to be measly! Disappointing portion size but tasty.
i like this indian place, has proven to me that there is still good indian places here. i love the way they use the suficient amount of spices, makes it really good. the service is great also, really useful sugestions and were really polite. totally recomend it for everyone, its the best place for the peolple trying indian for the first time
i love this place, has the best indian food ive try so far and thats because its fresh and has that taste of original indian food. the service is really good too, the people are really nice and helpful so i really recomend it, is gonna definitely exceed every expectations you can have.
i really like this place, has that feeling of homemade in their food, its really tasty and great. the service is really good too so i definitely recomend this place, the staff were really polite and helpful. i think its a great place to go with family and friend for a great meal
i like a lot this place, its a really good place to enjoy real indian food, its just really tasty and fresh, i love the way they make it like not too hot so its just easy to enjoy. the service here is really good too, really helpfull and polite. i recomend this place a lot
i was a litte skeptical when i went here with a couple of friends, i found that most indian are a little too spicy so well... i went there and it definitely excedeed all expectations, i love it. the food was just really tasty and not so spicy, the food was just right, i would definitely recomend this place, not just for indian food lovers but also for those who just want to try this for the first time. the service is something i must talk about, the staff there are very polite and helpfull, they really care about the customer convenience so its just great. i will definitely go again and recomend it.
Among the mid-level Indian restaurants in Vancouver, Handi is one of my favorites. Mid-level in terms of price, let me clarify. The atmosphere here is great. They try to keep the lighting low to set the scene for an intimate dinner. Perfect place for a date night. Usually for dinner there is a bit of a wait, now if only one could just show up and get seated right away? Not in Vancouver, at least.
My date and I started off with some pakoras and calamari. Off to a good start. I had the lamb with a side of garlic naan. She went for a chicken curry extra hot. Despite ordering different dishes at different spice levels, our waiter managed to not mix up the order.
We had a few drinks; just the standard, but there are some interesting ethnic drinks as well. The food here is something you can crave for, so it's always recommended.
i love this place, it seems like the pizza is homemade cause they put a lot of chesse and all ingredients, they serve great food i love it. i think the place in general its great cause the price goes along with the size of the food so i really recomend it
i like this place, i went out there just out of coincidence with friends couse we were looking for a place and everything else at the moment was too far , so into the food now, the food its good, well cooked and fresh i like it, they serve small portions tho so i think its a bit pricy. the ambience its good but a little too loud.
i love this place, the owners are all so nice and polite with you. i love the food too, its goes along with the prices they have, i would definitely go again with my friends and family, its a social quite place for a quiet meal with your people, like it a lot
i like this place for the amaxing dessert i got, i really love the desserts they offer there. about the meal i had.. it was good but not amazing as i expected to be, they offer you an amazing variety of wines and i don't really know much about that but the waiter help me out a lot so the service is really good, the ambience is really nice and romantic, i would go again but just for the sweet stuff
i like this place, its a little pricy but i think its worth to pay, they serve great meat here and well cooked, i like the ambience a lot too, its quite fancy and loud but goes along with the place. the stuff is good, they are polite and really nice. i will go again soon
its way too expensive for what i got, i think its not worth the price, the service is great i really like the attitude of everyone but the food its not worth it. i wouldnt go again just because i wont spend that much money for simple food. they shoul make the food better and taster.
|1.||Stepho's Greek Taverna|
|6.||Phnom Penh Restaurant|
|9.||Kobe Japanese Steak House|
|10.||Gotham Steakhouse & Cocktail Bar|
|16.||Les Faux Bourgeois Bistro|
|18.||Ebisu on Robson|
|20.||Glowbal Grill and Satay Bar|
|2.||Seasons in the Park|
|3.||Talay Thai Restaurant|
|4.||Diva at The Met|
|8.||Guu with Garlic|
|10.||Salade de Fruits Cafe|
|11.||Pink Peppercorn Seafood House|
|12.||La Grotta Del Formaggio|
|15.||Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar|
|16.||Khunnai Chang Thai Cuisine|
|17.||Afghan Horsemen Restaurant, The|
|19.||Les Faux Bourgeois Bistro|