Thursday, July 21, 2005

Federico's Supper Club, Commercial Drive

Federico's Supper Club - I love this logo! Posted by Picasa

If you're looking for an old-fashioned, all inclusive evening on the town with your sweetie, I've got the place for you. Especially if retro for you means going further back than MC Hammer. Spend an evening dining and dancing the night away at Federico's (Commercial, near 1st Ave), a re-creation of the supper clubs popular in the 1930's. Stepping into the darkened restaurant through the big, gorgeous, art deco logo doors was like a time warp, with the clientele all whirling around gracefully on the dance floor, Federico himself crooning away at the mike on stage, and appropriately bow-tied waiters whizzing about. The oh-so-debonair pinstripe-suited customer whirling around with his lady just completed the look. A fabulous room - it's kind of like dining in Disney, where the restaurants are themed attractions in themselves. Almost expected some actors with fedoras and machine guns to break in and stage a mafia cafuffle.

Dinner is quite competently executed Italian food. I very much enjoyed the house antipasto platter. We just ordered the antipasto for one ($9.95), and it was quite a generous selection of the usual antipasto suspects. There were these tiny olives that were just too adorable. Our waiter brought over a mountain of nice, soft bread, which we had to restrain ourselves from somewhat so that we didn't stuff ourselves before our mains arrived. I chose the Risotto con Frutti di Mare ($17.95), and was expecting a creamy, gooey type risotto, but this dish is different. The grains of rice were left fairly firm but it was sitting in the (tomato based?) sauce. It had an abundance of various seafood though. I preferred Potato Salad Boy's choice - the pasta special of the night, spaghetti with mushrooms and chicken in a cream sauce. We were both stuffed, without being able to finish our meals, so no dessert for us. Instead we hit the dance floor a bit.

Just so you understand where I'm coming from, I love cheesiness. I love lounge singers, and I love seeing people who know what they're doing ballroom dance. I was informed by my dining companion that "Asian people...they love that ballroom dancing." Ohh, that explains why I love it. Federico's father was playing the mandolin for some songs, and it was so intense, it sounded like a train was coming towards us. He strolled amongst the tables, kind of like when violinists would stroll around romantic restaurants on TV in 80's sitcoms . Wonderfully cheesy. As P.S. Boy remarked, "cheesier than the parmesan they put on our pasta." I was absolutely loving the whole scene. And just when I thought it couldn't get any cheesier, there Federico was, singing Phantom of the Opera to a synthetic dance beat while wearing a white half mask. Absolutely brilliant. Frederico even did some pop songs. I kid you not, he sung a medley that started with an ABBA tune! And the crowd loved it. He did a couple of happy birthdays to people in the restaurant, and then went back to a cha-cha after that. Hope I didn't spoil the Phantom bit for anyone out there. Go, have a good time.


Beata said...

Hey Nancy,

Nice blog! Looks like you've been busy :)

I visited Federico's about a year ago for my friend's birthday party. She knows the owner and his family quite well, so you could expect that we would get extra good service. I think I ordered pesto linguini but what I got was really oily sticky noodles with some green tasteless paste on it, lol! Oh, and the so hot waiter - Federico's younger brother, spilled some pasta on my outfit . . .

Sorry to be so critical, I might have just had back luck that time and maybe I should give it a try again . . . but if third time is the charm, hmmm I dont't know :) I call it the Federico's Birthday Club.

Oh, do you have any hints for catching mosquitos in your bedroom at 3 am?


Dumpling_Girl said...

Thanks for your comment, Beata! Yah, it wasn't really about the food when I went! Unfortunatey, no tips for catching the mosquitos at 3 am, but DEET repellents are pretty much the only thing I know that really works. I don't think citronella candles really work, but it makes people feel like it does. :)

Anonymous said...

Obviously your freind doesn't know Federico or his family too well, or you would know that he doesn't have a younger brother. The wait staff at Federico's treats everyone like a VIP, as Rick (Federico) would have it not other way. I am a good, long time friend of Federico, and his restaurant is among the best Italian food one might find outside of Italy. I know for a fact that food such as you described would never leave the kitchen Nancy didn't know much about their family either, or she would know that it is not Federico's father who plays the mandolin, but his uncle. Perhaps you should have the facts straight before you attempt to write a reveiw and post it where people who really do know the facts can see that you definitely do not know what you are talking about!

Dumpling_Girl said...

Thanks for the clarification regarding Frederico's family. I thought that Frederico had introduced his father that night, but I must have heard wrong, then. It happens. Apologies if that's the case. However, whatever family relations were mixed up, I don't agree that my or Beata's opinions on the restaurant are invalid, as we are both consumers who were subject to an experience just like any other customer that walks through the door of Frederico's. A blog is just a faster, more general conduit for "word-of-mouth" that will happen every single time someone visits and talk to their friends about a restaurant or other business. And in this case, it was actually positive word-of-mouth advertising, as I quite enjoyed my experience there overall, and encourage people to visit.

carmencita said...

After I've read some of the reviews and heard lots about this place me and my date were expecting a nice, romantic dinner !!! What a desilusion !!!! If you are not a show-off chinese , don't go there !!! The place looks like a club for chinese people who want to show off their dance style ! So, if you are not VERY good at ballroommdancing, this is NOT a place for you !! Also, the food was lousy, and very expensive ! But I guess they don't make their money from food anymore ! So, they don't care about the quality ! So, my honest advice : DON'T spend your money and your time here !!

Dumpling_Girl said...

Hi Carmencita,
Thanks very much for posting a comment, and sorry to hear that you didn't have a good time. When I went, there were people (Asian and not Asian, not a predominance of Chinese when I went) who definitely knew what they were doing in ballroom dance the time I went (I mentioned in my post that I enjoyed watching them), but my (white) friend and I (Chinese) definitely didn't know what we were doing, and looked stupid and had fun on the floor anyway. I think mostly during the cheesy 80's synth medleys. I agree that experts on a dance floor can intimidate the rest. If the place always had a crowd of Chinese "show-offs", I'm not really sure that would discourage me from going, though, to be honest. Personally, I'm pretty comfortable around Chinese people :) Anyhow, I do know that the parents of a coworker of mine love the place, and they are white, so I'm assuming the crowd can be mixed sometimes, anyway. Since there are not that many dinner/dance places in Vancouver, I'd expect the ballroom dance crowd will always be there though. I have heard of a possible new location for Senhor Rooster's that could have dancing, and Daniel doesn't want the experts and wants to make sure people are not intimidated to dance, so I will post about it when I hear more.

Divino Vino said...
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