In a not particularly quiet fashion, Glowbal Group has become an unstoppable force in the Vancouver culinary scene. Whether they’re dishing up oysters at Coast or serving massive steaks at Black+Blue, they’re covering the full gamut of upscale casual dining. This doesn’t mean you need to bust your budget to have a good time either, as evidenced by the Tuesday pasta special at Trattoria Italian Kitchen.
The interior design of the Burnaby Trattoria Italian Kitchen is quite different from the one in Kits. There is a large circular bar in the middle of the room; the “front” half of the circle is the actual bar, while the “back” half is where you’ll find the meat slicer used in tandem with the pizza oven in the center. There’s seating all around, plus an upstairs area. The restaurant was actually smaller than I had expected, given its appearance on the outside of the new building.
Cucumber & Basil Smash – $7.50
As is par for the course, Trattoria features a number of cocktails on its bar menu, in addition to the usual array of beer and wine choices. I opted for a cucumber and basil smash, a light and refreshing gin cocktail. It’s similar to a mojito, but not nearly as sugary.
Smoked Salmon Radiatori – $18.95
Lemon mascarpone cream, capers, red onions, dill
The $18.95 you see above is the regular price for this pasta dish, but as mentioned, all pasta dishes are $12 on Tratt Tuesdays. You don’t see radiatori on very many menus, so this was a delightful departure from the norm. I liked the textural element that this pasta brings to the dish. The capers, though not very visually apparent, dominated the flavor profile of each bite. The portion was decidedly on the small side too.
Short Rib Pappardelle – $19.95
Braised short ribs, pine nuts, wild mushrooms, café au lait
The portion size for the pappardelle was much the same, even smaller than the modest size we got at Ask for Luigi. The pasta was cooked al dente and the short ribs really provide a healthy dose of umami for a savory and satisfying bite. I just wish there was much more of it. That said, the pasta came really quickly — probably less than 10 minutes — giving me the impression that it may have been almost completely prepared in advance.
Zeppole al Cioccolato – $8.95
Italian style doughnuts, chocolate gianduja, vanilla crème anglaise
Since we were still hungry after our pasta, we decided to indulge in a little dessert. These Italian style doughnuts came highly recommended and they really do live up to the hype. There’s a light powder dusting over top, but the warm, gooey chocolate inside is what makes these Timbit-like doughnuts such an indulgent treat. Paired with the creme anglaise, they’re the perfect comforting conclusion to a comforting pasta dinner.
Given the portion sizes, I’m not totally convinced I would come back to Trattoria Italian Kitchen for full price pasta (though the table next to us ordered the spaghetti and meatballs and that looked much more substantial). For $12 a plate, though, you really can’t complain all that much and it’d likely be a little more suitable for lunch… or maybe next time we’ll order three pastas between the two of us.
The total bill, including taxes and gratuity, came to a little over $50.