Ask for Luigi – Downtown Eastside, Vancouver, BC

Ask for Luigi
Downtown Eastside, Vancouver, BC
http://www.askforluigi.com/

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Ask for Luigi was recommended to me by every man and his mother so naturally I needed to check it out.
I went with a friend of mine and we got fairly carried away ordering 5 dishes to tide us over; we ordered the sea urchin; the beef tongue, the octopus; their fregola risotto and the special of the night, a chicory and boar sausage, shell pasta.

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The urchin was good, the added anchovy was very complementary to the flavours but there was too much celery vs the fruits de mar, the bigger pieces were overpowering and not soft enough to meld with the rest of the textures.

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Next out the tongue; it was an amazing dish. A corned beef texture with a flavour that was in between a corned and smoked flavour all paired with fantastic pickled vegetables that lent a tangy crunch. The dish was perfectly crafted and balanced and one that I would order over again in a heartbeat.

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The next dish out was the octopus, the best dish of the night by far; not to say the rest weren’t great, but this was out of this world. Crispy, flavoured so boldly and cooked to pinpoint perfection the dish was a cracker; unfortunately for anyone reading this it’s no longer on the menu! I will say though definitely get a side of bread to mop up every last drop of the sauce.

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Now the risotto was not your usual stuff, swapping out the rice for fregola and using a duck prosciutto it really changed the idea of what you were eating. Risotto was not using rice, using fregola, had a different texture and really changed the mindset of what you were eating. The flavours of the cheese, mushrooms and prosciutto went well to create a rich creamy flavour that stood out and resonated.

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The special did not have as much boldness and was very refined. The chicory and boar were great but needed a linking ingredient to bring everything together. White the Lemon, chilli and fatty buttery sauce were great it just needed that final ingredient, something to really give it the oomph it needed.

Ask for Luigi is definitely a great place and worth checking out. They are putting out great dishes in a cosy environment with stellar service to boot.
Ask for Luigi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Café Bar Pasta – Brockton Village, TO

Café Bar Pasta
Brockton Village, Toronto
http://www.cafe-bar-pasta.com/

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My trip to Cafe Bar Pasta was once again a case of food envy; I was picture of the steak tartare on instagram and immediately needed to eat it.
Walking in and taking a seat I was stuck, not wanting to over eat but looking at all the tantalizing items on the menu I lost control and ordered 3 dishes; to start I ordered the steak tartare and their perogies then as a main their steak dish for the day, a 100 day dry aged rib eye grilled and finished with white truffle oil served with asparagus and mushrooms.

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They bought out bread and vinegar which was a classic start however I was disappointed with the vinegar’s quality; it was the run of the mill cheap stuff which undercut my enjoyment of the bread.

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The perogies came out first, they filled the air with a truffle and foie gras aroma and after a few photo’s I dug in. the casing, filling and texture was a great, smooth creamy and cheesy; the truffle oil went well with them coupled with the small amount of sour cream; I took each bite with a piece of foie and the flavours acted harmoniously to leave you thinking about how rich and creamy each bite was. The only thing I disliked was the overcooking of the foie.

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The tartare was sublime, I had no complaints, the steak mixed with marrow and the basic condiments served with thin and crispy bread was textural dynamite that left me smiling in contentness of the quality of the dish. Definitely something I’d come back to get.

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Lastly the steak, it came out unexpectedly cut and scattered; the dish was served medium rare; the white truffle oil it was finished in was apparent and gave the dish the next level feeling. Every element was cooked perfectly and it all worked together melodiously; the steak was an almost perfect medium rare with a serious char and a mouthwatering salty truffle flavour.

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The steak was so good I ate the vegetable first in order to savor the tender beefiness that was left after.

Café Bar Pasta sits unassumingly on Dundas; next time you’re in the area it’s best not to pass it by.

How well it’s cooked – 8.5

Flavour – 8.9

Tenderness – 8.2

Overall – 8.5

Cafe Bar Pasta Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato