You don’t think that Italian food is only pizza, pasta and heavy dishes—do you? Good, because the Ligurian region in the northwest of Italy has some of the freshest, seafood-bursting dishes (in a nod to its coastal location) and they’ve now been brought to Vancouver. Lucky us!
The West End
Vancouver’s west end is one of the most colourful and lively in the city, and it’s also home to the densest residential population. Hidden on one of the quiet, apartment-lined streets—with residents scurrying to and from work and the odd car swishing past—is the best place to eat Ligurian-based cuisine.
A solitary menu rests on a small table in front of a non-descript building. A quick peek at what’s on offer always makes me drool, so I step inside the small Adesso Bistro for some Italian food.
Al Fresco Dining
Greeted by owners Carol Gadsby and Luciano Loi, we walk through the petit restaurant and back outside through the rear door. The 40-seat garden patio surrounded by high green shrubs, trees, and flourishing flowers is about as large as the whole interior. If the day is warm, definitely head outside.
I spot my friend in the far corner with a drink in her hand and a smile on her face. Within a few minutes, I have joined her with a drink in my hand and a smile on my face.
I really loved this menu. There’s pasta and pizza, yes, but there’s also oysters, carpaccio of bison, lobster and Genoa minestrone. You can order dishes in half or full portions, which is a great way to try two dishes in one meal. (Entrées are large enough that you can order an appetizer and a half portion main if you only want a small meal.)
Highlights of our meal are the melt-in-your-mouth fresh mozzarella with tomatoes, basil and peaches marinated in a red wine balsamic vinaigrette ($9), and the Pacific Halibut all’ Acqua Pazza with olives and cherry tomatoes ($22). Then there is the Mangaro Lait (milk chocolate, chocolate-ricotta canoli crumble- $8), and Fragola (macerated strawberry, coulis, mille foglie, mascarpone mousse- $8) to finish off the evening.
Open daily from 5 pm, seven days a week. Brunch service is available on Saturday and Sunday, from 10:30 am – 3 pm. During the summer, Adesso offers a fantastic TUTS menu (Theatre Under the Stars in nearby Stanley Park).