My husband and I decided to sneak out for dinner last Wednesday to the Trattoria on 4th Avenue, in Kitsilano. We had been there before and really enjoyed both the food and the service. I should mention right now that it was about 32 degrees outside. When we walked in the very busy restaurant, I noticed that it was substantially hotter inside, despite the front garage-door style windows being rolled up. However, as my husband and I don’t get to eat out alone very often, we decided to brave the heat and enjoy a nice meal out.
I am not sure if it was the heat, which really did seem oppressive, but our dinners were not up to the same standard as our first visit. To start, my husband had a spinach salad and we shared the beef carpaccio. The salad was fresh and the goat cheese had a nice tang to it. The carpaccio, however was a bit disappointing. We had shared it on our previous visit and I recall that it was served on a bed of arugula and polenta, which seemed to be flavoured with gorgonzola The presentation was the same this time, but the flavour was distinctly lacking. The polenta, which made the dish so memorable last time, was decidedly bland (perhaps there is a world-wide gorgonzola shortage, of which I am unaware).
My husband’s dinner, Parpadelle with Duck Sausage, was also a repeat of our previous visit. The duck sausage had a nice spice to it, and the pasta was cooked perfectly. My gnocchi, on the other hand was quite disappointing. It was definitely overdone and the tomato sauce was really uninspired (my apologies for the cliche, which is also slightly uninspired). It tasted as though it had sat on the back of the stove, simmering for far too long. There was nothing fresh about it. The only other apparent ingredient in the dish were a few grape tomatoes which appeared to have been tossed around a hot pan for a second or two.
The good: Spinach Salad, Parpadelle with Duck Sausage, Wine List
The not-so-good: Beef Carpaccio, Gnocchi
The outstanding: Service (our server was cool and collected, even though it had to be 35 degrees inside)
On the whole, not a terribly memorable meal. However, our first experience at the Trattoria was really good so I will chalk this up the heat and give it another go (on a much cooler night).