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Dine Out Vancouver – La Terrazza

written by John Chow on January 25, 2007

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Last night, Sarah and I went to La Terrazza for our third Dine Out Vancouver dinner. La Terrazza is an award winning Italian restaurant located at the edge of Vancouver’s historic Yaletown. The restaurant has undergone a massive renovation since the last time I dined there. The reno may have came about because La Terrazza hasn’t won many awards of late – its last victory was in 2003 where it received the Best of Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator Magazine.

La Terrazza is a classic Italian restaurant. The restaurant is fairly simplistic from the outside, save for few crimson banners and subtle landscaping, but walk through the door, and feast your eyes on a tastefully decorated opulent Italian villa. Thirty-foot ceilings draw the eye upwards, where one can see a silk weavework that curls around the bar and beckons you to enter the main dining areas. Looking down, the highly polished floors of maroon are punctuated by intermittent tile designs. Throughout the restaurant, various large formats of wine are on display, hinting promise of the 1500-item wine list. Some of the wines cost more than $1,400 a bottle (which may explain why my wine glass was so small).

Zuppa Di Funghi

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This was Sarah’s appetizer. Zuppa Di Funghi is a medley of mushrooms stewed in a vegetable-truffle broth garnished with a goat cheese-herb crostini. In other words, mushroom soup. It’s actually quite good but no match for the cauliflower soup with Parmesan and truffles I had at The Observatory.

Strozzapreti Bolognese

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This was my appetizer. Strozzapreti pasta with a tomato meat ragú, topped with parmigiano reggiano. A very classic Italian dish and an interesting one to open with. It was paired with a glass of 2004 Cabernet Franc Chardonnay from Pellar Estates. The wine and pasta went well together. Given the choice between the two appetizers, I have to give the nod to the Zuppa Di Funghi.

Brasato Di Manzo

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My main course was the “Brasato Di Manzo,” also known as Braised beef short ribs finished with a caramelized red onion marmalade. It was paired with a really nice 2004 Shiraz from Mission Hill Estate. As short ribs goes, this one was among the better ones I’ve tasted. It doesn’t quite match the ribs at Feenie’s or Memphis Blues however.

Pesce Del Giorno

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I didn’t catch what the fish of the day was, but that’s what Sarah had. La Terrazza was the first restaurant I’ve been to where the fish was better than the meat. Both Sarah and I agreed the fish tasted better. It was perfectly cooked, presentation was awesome and the taste was mouth watering.

Milk and Dark Chocolate Terrine

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For some reason, Sarah always seems to get the sweeter dessert. The problem with that is she doesn’t like desserts that are too sweet, and the chocolate terrine was very sweet! I liked it a lot.

Vanilla Bean Crème Brulée

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Sarah much preferred the Brulée to the terrine. La Terrazza’s Crème Brulée was one of the best I ever had. The sugar crust was twice as thick as any other Crème Brulée I have tried. It took a good stab with the spoon to break through it. I had the Crème Brulée with a glass of Moscato D’Asti, Beni Di Batasiolo, 2005 – a very sweet wine that went very well with the dessert.

I have to hand it to La Terrazza’s Sommelier. The wine pairing was very well done, especially given the price point he had to work with – $14.95 on top of the $35.00 Dine Out price. This was the less expensive wine pairing yet, but it was among the best. Dinner for two came to $105.00 with tips and complimentary valet parking. Overall, I give La Terrazza four out of five stars.

La Terrazza on Urbanspoon

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{ 25 comments }

My New Choice January 25, 2007 at 2:54 pm

Everything looks quite tasty but that wine glass is awfully tiny. It looks like you were at a little kids tea party.

Jane January 25, 2007 at 3:06 pm

Wow. That fish looks REALLy good! I love it when they brown it like that.

Alex Becker January 25, 2007 at 3:56 pm

Fish looks awesome. I always love to eat fish when I go out. Makes me feal like Im eating healthy.

Lucas McDonnell January 25, 2007 at 6:07 pm

John if the comment about the fish (“I didn’t catch what the fish of the day was”) was a deliberate pun, that was brilliant! ;)

Nik Agarwal January 25, 2007 at 3:29 pm

Man, I am craving all these desserts John. I can’t help it, but that chocolate terrine looks super duper delicious.

Nils January 25, 2007 at 3:34 pm

that looks so del.icio.us
i’m just coming home from mcdonalds :(

Alex Becker January 25, 2007 at 3:56 pm

hey McDonalds is ok. Except the part about dying of cancer.

Scott Howard January 25, 2007 at 4:03 pm

hhhhmmm, that mushroom soup looks really good. I like to eat morels, which is what type of mushrooms that we look for and eat around here.

Alex Becker January 25, 2007 at 4:09 pm

John so when are you going to change the blog descripton to something more like ” The Miscellaneous Ramblings of a food taster” ?

Jane January 25, 2007 at 4:12 pm

Why change it…you can have a whole different blog with a whole set of advertisers specifically looking at the food industry…shoot I might try that :)

Alex Becker January 25, 2007 at 8:52 pm

Hey hey give that back! You thief. Stealing my idea. Give that back. :)

Michael Kwan January 25, 2007 at 4:36 pm

Your appy looks VERY substantial. Too heavy, in fact, for an appetizer. I went out for Dine Out last night too, except I was at The William Tell. Taking my inspiration from you, John, I made a blog entry complete with pics and such.

Here it is.

Jane January 25, 2007 at 7:57 pm

I guess it’s rubbing off on a lot of people! You’ve planted a seed john, now the food reviews are growing past your blogs :)

Matthew Berman January 25, 2007 at 4:41 pm

how often do you have 9 course amazing meals??

Char January 25, 2007 at 4:42 pm

John – I haven’t been to Vancouver for about 10 years, but I’d love to visit again! When we do, I will be sure to take all your restaurant recommendations with us.

The fish does look wonderful! I usually get fish when we go out because it is not something I enjoy cooking.

Michael Kwan January 25, 2007 at 5:19 pm

Especially if you’re coming to Vancouver, I’d recommend the fish. It’s the whole “West Coast flavour” thing.

Ryan January 25, 2007 at 5:36 pm

That food looks pretty good!

I agree, though… what’s with the small glass?!

Michael Kwan January 25, 2007 at 6:07 pm

I guess that’s why the wine pairing is only 15 bucks.

Diner February 6, 2007 at 3:05 pm

The wine glass is so small because the wine he is holding up is a dessert wine!

Kiltak January 25, 2007 at 6:35 pm

haha, is your wife a fish fanatic? If I recall well, she’s always having something “fishy” in all your dine out posts.

Heywood January 25, 2007 at 6:36 pm

John, that looks like a real nice place you found there! I don’t know about everyone else, but I’d like to put in a request to see the best Mexican dishes in Vancouver?!

Marc January 25, 2007 at 7:18 pm

That beef and desert look amazing. You’ve really got to implement some way of keeping the pictures until after you click something… They make me soooooo hungry.

Jeff January 25, 2007 at 9:48 pm

Yeah hide the photos… well. I’m going to make my bachelor’s dinner now… darn.

Judith in Umbria January 26, 2007 at 2:40 am

It looks fine as an Italian meal, but there are a couple of problems. I am an Italian chef living in Italy. Those first courses are just that, not appetizers, which are called antipasti. An Italian meal can’t be defined just like a Canadian or French meal, because the various nutrients are spread out over several EQUAL courses, not a main course more or less adorned with other foods.
Strozzapreti generally are quite unlike what you’ve shown, which is called casareccio here.
I made brasato of pork spareribs with polenta for supper last night. Good homey food. What could be wrong with that?

Leftblank January 26, 2007 at 7:33 am

Looks like you’ve had a wonderful and tasty meal again John, I’m not much of a fan of mushrooms, but the other things look delicious, especially the desert!