305 Alexander Street
T: 604 428 2544
I normally don’t pay too much attention to the Georgia Straight’s Golden Plates Awards, as my opinion is often very different from other voters so the results usually just leave me irritated. This year, however, I actually agreed with some of the winners. One of my favourite restaurants, Ask for Luigi, won this year’s “Best New Restaurant” award and they beat Cioppino’s (!!) to take out top spot in the “Best Italian” category. I’ve been loving what they’ve been doing ever since they opened so I am thrilled for them (although this win will make it even harder to get a table now).
When I’m asked what I like about Ask for Luigi, I give the same answer that I give about Nook (one of my other favourites); it is unpretentious, relaxed, and provides great food and wine at affordable prices. These are the places that you want to go to after a busy week at work, or to catch-up with friends or your significant other, where you know you will leave feeling happy that you got value for money, but more importantly, that the food was of a high standard. Plus, I love a place that remembers their regular visitors and treats you like a friend when you return.
I went for a late lunch a few weeks ago with a friend and we ended up having a long, boozy lunch (isn’t that how all Italian meals should go?) that consisted of the following dishes:
Although we enjoyed the whole meal, there were a few dishes that stood apart from the others.
1/ The brussels, with crispy pork belly and crunchy hazelnuts, were a great introduction to the meal. I loved the texture of this dish (lots of crunch from the nuts and pork, but a softness from the brussels).
2/ The gnocci was incredibly light and soft, with a hint of earthiness from the sage. A must order.
3/ We both battled spoons over the subtle olive oil cake. We should have ordered two.
If you’ve not been, I recommend a visit to Ask for Luigi to see what all the fuss is about. If you need further persuading (really?!), check out their Instagram feed for some tantalizing food pics.