Eating Vancouver: Day 3’s Dinner at Cioppino’s

One of my sister’s favorite places in Vancouver is an Italian fine dining restaurant in Yale town, Cioppino’s.  We were greeted by the friendly and very attractive staff upon entering and where greeted by the head chef as we approached our table.  The main dining room has a bar on the right and an open kitchen in the back.  The room ir relatively dim giving it a classy, almost romantic feel.

To start, I had the porcini and chestnut soup, vanilla chantilly (which is a Gold Medal Winner…  I guess).

The soup had a lot of flavor but was a lot lighter than I thought it was going to be.  I guess the whole meal surprised me in this sense since when I think I Italian food, I think of heavy, hearty comfort food.  In terms of taste, it was great.  It came up piping hot but was smooth and refreshing.  It was a nice start to the meal.  My father started with the classic lobster bisque served with Pacific crab rémoulade

Again, the consistency I thought was really like, especially for a bisque.  It was still really good though.  It was light but very flavorful.  The nice big chunks of juicy lobster meat were also really good.  The rest of the table shared the Cortes Island steamed mussels, Spanish chorizo in spicy tomato broth.

They gave you a lot of mussels.  The tomato sauce with the spicy chorizo was full of flavor, not very spicy but ver good.  The mussels were fresh and mixed well with the sauce and cheese.  The table also shared the warm goat cheese, roasted mushroom, Japanese eggplant, maple syrup caramel

I only had a small bite of this but the bite I did have was excellent.  All the flavors worked really well together.  I couldn’t really taste the eggplant (may my piece was too small).  The textures of the goat cheese and mushrooms were great and the maple syrup added a subtle sweetness that completed the dish.  For my main, I had the Duck…Duck… Spit-roasted breast, its leg confit, savoury orange sauce

I had never seen this before so I was a little amazed when I saw it, foam cheese.  That’s right, the white foam on top is cheese. It’s not has strong or pungent as normal cheese but added a nice subtle cheesy flavor to the dish.  The duck, both the confit and roasted breast were cooked to a perfect medium rare.  It was juicy and delicious..  My sister had the spaghetti “alle vongole” served in a white wine garlic sauce over a ton of clams.

I didn’t try any other this but it smelled really good.  My sister really enjoyed it and when it comes to Italian food and pastas in particular, she had a pretty high standard.  My mother had the Cannelloni of lobster and crab, with creamy-tomato sauce.

Now this is what I expect more of when I think of Italian food.  The sauce was a little thicker and richer than the other dishes.  The meat was cooked perfectly and the ingredients all worked well together.  I really liked this dish.  My father had the grilled veal chop, rosemary, light lemon-shallot-Cabernet jus

This was simply a tasty dish.  I find places can over cook veal but this one was cooked really well.  I was pretty stuffed at this point so I passed on dessert (this was the fifth place we had eaten at this day afterall).  My parents shared the banana, chocolate and caramel, wrapped with phyllo pastry, served with banana ice-cream

It kind of reminded me of that deep fried banana dessert ou can get at Chinese restaurants but sweeter and better ingredients.  It was quite good.  I’m looking through the menu now and am trying to figure out what my sister had.  I think she had the mascarpone: their own interpretation of Tiramisu, coffee macaroon, dark chocolate sorbet

I thought it looked kind of similar to a chocolate cigar that I’ve had at a few fancy places, but this one was even fancier.  She seemed quite delighted eating it.

Cioppino’s serves up some great Italian food.  The dishes are tasty and satisfying without making you feel to heavy and bloated after.  The execution of each dish is perfect.  It terms of the mix of flavors, I don’t think it was quite the same unique “experience” as West, but the food is simply done right.

~ by jlowjlow on April 4, 2010.

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