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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.