Bundles of garlic and dried chilies dangle from the ceilings at Amorosa Pasta House, whose textured orange walls and fringed, checkered tablecloths bestow the dining room with an air of rusticity. Inside the kitchen, the chef and his cooks create classic dishes from Mediterranean cheeses, tender cuts of veal and chicken, and 28 pasta sauces. Linguini comes dressed with zesty puttanesca or creamy alfredo, and gnocchi or whole-wheat penne can be covered in savoury pomodoro or basil pesto. Like trying to write a poem using the words "Zeus" and "Jupiter," the bill of fare also intertwines Italian and Greek traditions. To wit, plates of lasagna and chicken genovese are served alongside a salad of feta and kalamata olives or followed by a serving of phyllo cheesecake.
Owner Salvatore Fancello modelled his well-known New Westminster eatery La Spaghetteria on the small ristorantes found on his beloved isle of Sardinia. Since its 6th Street opening in 1976, the restaurant has expanded to accommodate parties and special gatherings with a banquet room and romantic outdoor dinners on a heated patio area. Seven days a week, La Spaghetteria's chefs welcome guests for an early-bird special that offers a choice of 27 different pasta dishes to satisfy the cravings of noodle lovers and meatball bowlers.
Behind the facade of a century-old former residence, La Rustica’s chefs drizzle organic, from-scratch sauces onto locally raised meats and homemade pastas. The culinary team veers away from run-of-the-mill Italian eats, instead luring tongues out of hiding with bait in the form of fresh Madagascar peppercorns, barolo-wine reduction, and Sambuca flambé sauce. The two-floored eatery's covered patio and pastel-hued interior lend the eatery a relaxed, homey vibe whether sitting near the flickering fireplace or one of the establishment's many art pieces covering the walls.
Laguna Blu's culinary experts fill their menu with a range of Italian offerings concocted from a selection of organic products, fresh seafood, and choice cuts of meat. Dining groups huddle and draw battle plans for their forks to divvy up starter dishes, including calamari served with marinara sauce. Skilled chefs add flavourful touches to house pasta dishes, such as spaghetti bolognese, which showcases ground veal coated in house-made tomato sauce and parmesan cheese, and an oven-braised lamb-shank entree delights palates with its blend of seasonings. Meanwhile, mouths melt the sablefish entree, coated in a white-wine caper glaze and flanked by a bevy of basmati rice and spring vegetables. Meals further pair with sips of beer, mixed drinks, or dancing potions from the bar menu, such as the Laguna Blu martini, a potable amalgamation of blue Curacao, raspberry, and vodka.
In 1999, Freshslice Pizza founder Ray Russell set out to combine the once-separate worlds of pizza-by-the-slice joints and speedy pie delivery. Each ready-made slice or delivery pie is created with a dough recipe that's seven years in the making, with a wholesome multigrain base with a crispy texture unheard of in run-of-the-mill pizzas made with boring white dough or pickled Frisbees. At each of the restaurant's 70 British Columbia and Ontario locations, customers can pop in for a few takeout slices, select a feast from the litany of suggested topping combos, or craft their own creation from three different sauces, 20 different toppings, and a variety of cheeses. In addition to savoury slices of pizza covered in combos such as pesto, spinach, ham, and mozzarella, customers can dine on morsels of baked lasagna, sweet cinnamon sticks, or other pizzeria fare.
At Aldo's Pasta Bar and Italian Ristorante, homemade sauces cascade over still-steaming pastas, and homemade dough forms the foundation of cheesy pizzas. Undoubtedly, the homemade aspect of its cuisine is a point of pride for the business, and for its owner Aldo Zenone, who opened his namesake in 1992 alongside his wife and two sons. Today, Aldo and his staff continue to serve traditional Italian dishes inside their New Westminster ristorante, which features golden-hued walls lined with black and white portraits.