Over the weekend, I went with a girlfriend to the newly opened small restaurant in Yaletown called Yaletown L’Antipasto. Around since mid-November, this place serves up Mediterranean style tapas, wine and daily pasta specials that are cooked on just a couple of hot plates in their open concept kitchen, right where you can see them. The owners, Matti and Sachi, invited a friend and I in to dine at their cozy location, and I can tell they have poured their heart into this new establishment.
That evening was a little more festive than usual, as it’s the holiday season and there were a couple of big groups dining in. The space is quite small, and it’s amazing that they were able to set up and operate everything from the single room.
We were seated in the middle of the restaurant, and took a look over the menu while dining on some olives, but decided to leave it in the owner’s hands to serve us their favourites. So we sat back and each ordered a glass of wine from the list, and started chatting while we waited for our meal to begin.
Based on the name of the restaurant, I assumed we would likely be having an antipasto platter, and we indeed did. This consisted of a large selection of quality cured meats from Italy (a prosciutto, two types of salami, and the prized culatello, which is apparently supposed to be the best of the best when it comes to Italian deli meat), along with olives, red peppers, tomato, pickled artichokes and onion, and three cheeses. The cheeses on our platter included what I can recall were a cabrales, a cheese aged in a Spanish cave for over two months, as well as a more firm Piave. This was served with a side of toasted Ciabatta bread.
Next up was the Bruschetta Mista. This included four different items, including the classic tomato with basil, an olive tapenade, one with mortadella, provolone picante and sun-dried tomatoes, and finally a tuscan chicken pate. My preference of them all was the chicken pate.
As I mentioned earlier, there are daily pasta specials at Yaletown L’Antipasto, and on this evening, we both shared the Gnocci con Raddicchio and Gorgonzola. This was quite rich, and the gnocchi pieces were quite doughy and large. I am not a huge pasta fan to begin with, but we both had a bit of a hard time finishing this dish off as it was definitely heavy.
The second dish, the Fusili alla Boscialo was a bit lighter (it wasn’t penne, as suggested on the menu board), and was cream-based with mushrooms, proscuitto cotto and peas. My dining partner preferred this one to the Gnocchi, and the pasta was cooked slightly al dente.
At this point, we were both quite stuffed, but I can never say no to dessert, so we tried the house made Panna Cotta with a rasberry coulis. This was a great way to end off the meal, as it wasn’t quite refreshing and not overly sweet.
Overall, my girlfriend and I enjoyed the meal. It was definitely more of a place I would go to for a glass of wine and some antipasti as a pre-dinner sit-down, though, instead of a full regular dinner. The owners were extremely gracious, and welcomed us very warmly into their restaurant. They have done a great job of using what little space they have for their vision of a Mediterranean wine and tapas bar.
Service: N/A (as we were invited for the dinner)