Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Chianti's (W. 4th)

I have had some very nice meals over the years at this well-established Kitsilano restaurant. Chianti Cafe is comfortable, friendly, and casual. This last time, Instant Noodle Girl and I started with the Calamari alla Romana, their deep-fried squid appetizer served with a very tasty garlic tomato sauce. On my previous visit to this restaurant, I had this dish and thought it was absolutely fantastic. In this visit, it was still quite good, but didn't blow me away like the first time. I'm not sure if it was me, or if this dish is just a bit on the inconsistant side.

As Cheeseboy brought up the other day, for certain dishes, it is relatively easy to get a good version of one, but difficult to get a great one. For instance, I'm always on the search for a great cheesecake, a great deep-fried calamari, and a great tiramisu. I did recently get a surprisingly exceptional crème brûlée at Capones in Yaletown last week, though it was really the only part of the experience that was outstanding. Kudos to whoever made that dessert though, for showing me how good crème brûlée could be. With the calamari, it's not the first time I've had a really great calamari (at Alexis Restaurant, a Greek restaurant on Broadway at Vine) and then couldn't quite recreate the experience on subsequent visits.

Anyway, back to Chianti's. Instant Noodle Girl ordered the Fettucine Chianti, pictured here.

Fettucine Chianti Posted by Hello

This yummy pasta has prosciutto ham, mushrooms in a creamy parmesan cheese sauce, essentially adult mac-and-cheese (I mean that in a good way, of course). I had the Pollo Alla Mamma Gina, a chicken breast with mushrooms, green olives, Marsala wine served with spinach fettuccine in tomato sauce. Quite a salty dish, but tasty and tender. I was wishing I had ordered a creamy pasta like my dining companion's though. Although I didn't really have room for dessert, I was ultimately tempted by their peach mascapone pie served with blueberry sauce. A huge cloud of light and fluffy mascapone filling sat on a little layer of peach and a regular pie crust, amidst a pool of whole blueberry sauce. I believe this was a special, and not on their regular dessert menu, but I'm not sure. Instant Noodle Girl had their tiramisu, which was quite nice, and served attractively in a goblet. Chianti's used to do a Monday/Tuesday pasta special and half-orders for all their pastas. I'm not sure that they still do (it looks like they've taken it off the menu). But it remains a good, solid restaurant where you can be fairly confident that you'll get a decent meal and friendly service.

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