We were driving down Commercial Drive looking for an Italian restaurant, and this was the first one we saw - so we went in. It was around 2:10, and the place was almost empty - it took a while for someone to notice we were standing there waiting.
The place itself looked rather elegant on the inside, and the Antipasti bar looked good - so that was what I ordered as an appetizer (the price is 16 dollars for an antipasti plate for two, but since my husband is not an antipasti fan, I asked the waiter if I could get a plate for one - and he said yes - we didn't ask how much it cost, but when the check came it turned out to be 10 dollars, which was totally fine). I was rather pleased with it - it had sundried tomatoes (which I love, but these were a bit too salty), pickled red peppers (yummy), pickled onions (also very good), mushrooms, a cold pasta salad, a slice of salami, a piece of cheese, an artichoke heart, some clams or something (I didn't taste those), klamata olives, etc. The bread (which came with the traditional plate with olive oil and balsami sauce) was not bad either - it was warm, and the bottom was crunchy and a bit burnt, which was great.
All in all the appetizer + bread were good, but nothing very special.
Then we got the courses we ordered - I ordered gnocchi in tomato sauce, and my husband ordered penne with tomato and sausage sauce. And the gnocchi is the reason I am writing this review - it was excellent! Very fresh, and like the title of this review suggests - reminded us of our trips to Italy. In fact, since I was pretty full from the antipasti (I always make the mistake of eating too much before the main course...) my husband opted to eat half of my dish, instead of the other half of his (which he took home).
The gnocchi was great, and its sauce was great - a wonderful dish which will probably result in us coming back.
We didn't have time for dessert so we can't say anything about that (though I would really have liked to try it, based on the quality of the gnocchi...).
Oh, and about the price - the restaurant isn't very cheap, but we felt what we ate was worth the price (both pasta plates cost about 16-17 dollars)
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