Adesso BistroPosted: 03/03/2013
Siobhan was leaving for Iceland in the new year (yes, this visit was a while ago), and so the task fell on me to choose a restaurant for our last dinner date of the term! I had scoped out Adesso Bistro as a possible location for my birthday dinner (we went with Catch-122 instead), but the restaurant and menu still stood out to me, even a few months after I visited their website. So, despite the rain and cold, we made our way to Haro Street (Haro! Love the name) for an early night out.
I tried to make reservations for a later time, but since the restaurant was flooded with Christmas party reservations made eons ahead of time, we had to settle for dinner at the really early hour of 5:30. We were the first table at the restaurant, so we did get quite a bit of attention throughout our night there.
After some fresh-baked focaccia bread accompanied by the expected olive oil-balsamic vinegar dip came up, we looked over the menu to see what was being offered. At the time, they had a winter prix fixe menu which also doubled as their features sheet– each item had its own price, and could be ordered a la carte or as part of the three course meal ($32, plus $15 for wine pairing). We ended up getting an appetizer off their specials, and a pasta each.
I didn’t record the name of the appetizer, but let’s say that it’s called the Poached Pear and Proscuitto Salad ($8). This was a more deconstructed form than what I had imagined, with three little bundles of red lettuce enveloping bocconcini cheese, warm poached pear, and topped with slices of buttery proscuitto. This was all presented beautifully on a long plate, accented by a brush of balsamic vinegar dressing that we could sweep the lettuce over. I don’t know if you’re meant to eat this all together (like a lettuce wrap/taco), but I ended up taking mine apart, and just forked up a little bit of each ingredient. The pears were quite sweet, which balanced out the lightly salted bocconcini, and the proscuitto was just perfect– the amount that was served wasn’t bad either, considering each bundle had 2 slices each.
Siobhan is lactose intolerant, and she wasn’t quite sure what to get, so we asked the server to give us a recommendation. He was very knowledgable about all the ingredients in each of the dishes, and as well, gave us options for things that could be added or omitted. In the end, Siobhan decided on the Trofie ($17), a Ligurian specialty pasta (I’m not sure what this shape of pasta would be classified as) that came in a thick and chunky tomato sauce. This pasta dish also came with slices of smoked chicken and pieces of eggplant. She really liked her meal, saying the pasta was al dente and that the ingredients were prepared well– the eggplant wasn’t overcooked, and the chicken was juicy and flavourful.
As for myself, I have a habit of looking up menus online before going to a restaurant so that I won’t take quite as long to decide on a meal (unless the features list sounds especially delicious and distracting), so I already decided on the Risotto Funghi ($16). I do apologize for the gucky picture of the risotto– I had recently received a new Canon t3i as a Christmas present, and I was still getting the hang of lighting and shutter speed and all that jazz, so some pictures definitely aren’t the best. Despite the brownish-grey appearance (due to the porcini puree) of the dish that would normally seem unappetizing, this dish was really stellar– probably some of the best risotto I’ve had in a while. Each grain was uniformly prepared, with no bites being too hard or too mushy, and this was bursting with the woodsy flavour of the various roasted mushrooms. The grana padano provided a lightly salty garnish, and the arugula helped to break up the texture a bit. This was a huge portion, and I ended up taking some home for lunch the next day (and it was just as good then).
We were both too full for dessert (actually, that’s a lie, we went to Thierry afterwards, but that was following a long walk up Robson), so we decided to end our night at Adesso Bistro. We had a very nice time at the restaurant, even as it started to fill up as our night went on. The food we ordered was carefully and expertly prepared, so that nothing was amiss; as well, the several servers who came by to welcome us were well-versed in the menu and preparation of the meal, something you don’t always see at restaurants nowadays. I wholeheartedly recommend this restaurant, nestled in a residential neighbourhood off Denman, for its romantic and intimate feel, as well as for their stellar service and food.
1906 Haro St