Thursday, November 20, 2014

La Terrazza

La Terrazza is one of the true "fine dining" experiences I have had in Vancouver. From the atmosphere to the service, I truly believed I was dining at a fine dining establishment. The Italian restaurant is located in Yaletown and is known for their very extensive wine menu, which is thicker than a magazine! BF has been here a few times before, but never with me. Honest to truth, I always thought the restaurant was similar to the Glowbal Group restaurants; a "fine dining" restaurant with a loud atmosphere, but boy was I wrong.

La Terrazza has such a romantic atmosphere and is definitely one restaurant where I would want to dress up for and take photos. When we walked, the friendly bartender/host led us to our table which happened to be right in front of a cozy fireplace. We also had a whole view of the restaurant and I like that the interior is different than many restaurants in Vancouver.

BF thought it was suspicious that I suggested to go to La Terrazza because he has been asking to take me for years, and the reason I chose the restaurant is because there was a Travelzoo voucher! The voucher costed $79.00 for one appetizer, two entrees and a dessert.

CAESAR ($9.88).
The caesar is not watered down, but does not taste rich either. There is a mild spiciness but the caesar tastes more sweet than spicy.

I love bread, even crappy bread sometimes. But these, wow. The bread is served warm and tastes very fresh. The crumb tastes very soft and the crust is very "crusty". Definitely the best table bread I have had at a restaurant. Do you see the amount provided too? A dish of evvo, garlic and salt seasoning is also served.

RAVIOLONE, "Pasta envelope filled with lobster and marscapone, champagne caviar cream sauce, micro watercress, shallot crisps" ($19.88)
Rating: 2/5.
When we ordered the raviolone, I appreciated our server for mentioning the appetizer comes with only one piece. The pasta is very thick and doughy, and tastes a touch undercooked because of the grainy texture in the middle. I did not want to speak up at first but after thinking the raviolone does cost $20.00 even though we had a voucher, it is still expensive.

So after looking around for our server, I waved down a staff who appeared to be a server in trainee. The gentleman took our side plates and a different server who took care of us throughout the dinner, came to our table shortly. The server mentioned the kitchen cannot make a new order because this is how the restaurant serves the raviolone and offered us to choose a new appetizer. At this time, BF had to take a phone call and our server was very patient while I waited for him to come back before ordering. Our server even asked if I wanted lemon with my hot water and confirmed again when I passed.

CIOPPINO, "Salt Spring Island mussels, manilla clams, tiger prawns, black cod, spicy black garlic chorizo broth, toasted garlic baguette" ($26.88).
Rating: 2/5.
The cioppino is an entree, but we ordered the dish as an appetizer which arrived with the raviolone. The first item I went for is the cod, which tastes amazingly buttery and light. The cod tastes just cooked, flaky and moist, making it definitely one of the better ones I have had. I was sad that I dropped a whole piece on the table too, but was impressed when our server removed it from the table when she cleared the dishes. No fine dining restaurant I have been to has ever cleaned up food droppings (excluding scrapping off bread crumbs) from the table.

Unfortunately though, the only good thing about the cioppino was the cod. The prawns and mussels are overcooked, tasting dry and stiff but not rubbery. Furthermore, the slices of chorizo are very dry and hard. The broth also lacks flavour and there is no taste from the chorizo or seafood. As for the toasted garlic baguette, the garlic flavour is very rich and tasty. Some may find the garlic flavour overwhelming however, but I like it. When our server asked about the cioppini and if it is better than the raviolone, I mentioned "it is fine" and she confirmed if I did not like the dish. Our server was very genuine and cared about us! The clams were missing from the cioppino too.

CALAMARI E GAMBERI, "grilled Humboldt squid, crispy batter calamari, tiger prawns, toasted garlic - chili lime reduction" ($17.88).
Rating: 3.5/5.
For the replacement of the raviolone, we decided to order the calamari, fried prawns and grilled squid. The calamari e gambrel was a great choice and I highly recommend this as an appetizer. The batter on the calamari and prawns are perfect; well seasoned, flavourful, and have a light crispiness. I really like the seasoning in the batter and is the best I have had thus far.

In addition, the seafood is just cooked. The calamari tastes tender with a soft chewiness, and the prawns taste bouncy with a nice snap. As for the grilled squid, neither of us are a big fan of squid in general but actually enjoy La Terrazza's. The squid has a rich tasty char flavour and tastes very tender. The chilli lime reduction also provides a light tang.

SPAGHETTONI AL NERO, "Alaskan snow crab, jalapeño cream sauce, butter toasted bread crumb" ($26.88).
Rating: 3.5/5.
La Terrazza has only four choices of pasta available and for some reason it still took me a while to choose what I wanted! When the pasta arrived, we were surprised that this is only half an order. We even joked about the restaurant possibly even serving us two full orders.

The cooked al dente squid ink pasta tastes rich and has a light saltiness. The addition of bread crumbs which taste very buttery, also added some fattiness and richness throughout the pasta. In addition, despite the lack of sauce appearance, the jalapeño cream sauce tastes very light and the pasta does not taste dry at all. BF felt there were too much bread crumbs which overwhelmed the flaky crab meat, but I thought it was fine. 

COSTATA, "grilled 10oz sterling silver beef rib eye, buttermilk fried onion rings, roasted mushrooms, green peppercorn sauce" ($37.88).
Rating: 3.5/5.
His choice of entree is the beef rib eye, which has a tasteful and rich smokey char. The rib eye is cooked to a medium rare as requested, tastes tender and very juicy (despite being pre-cut). Furthermore, the accompanying green peppercorn sauce does not taste overwhelming and provides some extra moisture and flavour. As for the mushrooms, there is a nice selection of king oyster, beech and white. Everything on his entree tastes good, including the onion rings. The onion rings have a perfect light crispiness and a sweetness from the onion. La Terrazza has served the best rib eye we have had at a fine dining non-steak house.

ANGELLO, "Oven roasted grainy Dijon incrusted rack of lamb, potato - vegetable terrine, green mint pea puree" ($41.88).
Rating: 3.5/5.
As for myself, I went for the rack of lamb which has a very nice and crispy crust. The lamb tastes buttery soft, tender and juicy, with a mild gamey flavour. In addition, the puree has a hint of sweetness and a nice refreshing taste from the mint (which does not overwhelm). The entree also includes a side of potato pave. There are layers of soft potato along with spinach and red pepper, and a crispy top.

TORTA DI PERA, "Pears and almond tart, butterscotch sauce, vanilla gelato" ($12.88).
Rating: 2.5/5.
For dessert, we chose the pears and almond tart. The crust tastes dry and so does the grounded almond filling. The pears do taste soft and moist though, but the dessert overall tastes dry. As for the highlight, the ice cream has a rich vanilla bean flavour and is topped with carmel sugar. The butterscotch also has a nice consistency and is not too sweet.

Original Total: $214.30 (Including the raviolone).
Voucher Total: $79.00 + $67.95 (Extras) + TIP $35.05 = $182.00.

Dinner at La Terrazza did not start off good because the first couple of dishes were not that great. However, the pasta along with the entrees were fairly good and are dishes that I would come back for. Furthermore, the staff were professional, genuine, and inviting. I wish I purchased the voucher for four and double dated, because we could have had more food and the bill would be less lol.

- Professional and genuine staff
- Well executed entrees and pasta
- Relaxing and romantic atmosphere

- Raviolone was a touch undercooked
- Overcooked seafood in the cioppino

Food: 3.5/5
Service: 4/5

La Terrazza on Urbanspoon

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