When Joe and Theresa Klassen first founded Joey’s Seafood Restaurant in 1985, they were simply looking to create a friendly neighbourhood eatery that served made-to-order seafood. Though the company has since expanded to more than 69 franchises across Canada, it still falls under the leadership of its founder, who frequently develops new strategies for growth and expansion while continuing to supply each location with fresh, Pacific-based seafood. Joey’s offers two distinct dining experiences: full-service restaurants (designed for families and their hungry sock puppets) and quick-serve places (designed for younger generations). At the quick-serve eateries, foodsmiths dole out a smaller menu of fried fish and shrimp. The full menu includes seafood entrees such as sautéed PEI mussels, blackened Pacific snapper, and Joey’s famous fish 'n' chips—fillets of halibut, cod, or haddock dunked into a secret-recipe batter and then deep-fried in canola oil. Nationally, the company supports the Alzheimer's Society of Canada through local and national fundraising efforts. Since 2000, its franchises have collectively raised more than $950,000 for the organization.
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.
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.
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.
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.