Last Wednesday evening, Eating in Vancouver was invited to attend Cafe Il Nido‘s tasting event showcasing their new fall menu. We had never previously been to Cafe Il Nido, so did not know what to expect, but had heard it was a popular Italian restaurant in the heart (Thurlow & Robson) of downtown Vancouver.
Since opening in 1988, it is presently considered one of Vancouver’s oldest and most established Italian dining destinations. Their elegant yet informal atmosphere recently underwent renovations in the spring of 2011 and now reflects a cozy ambiance indoors – while their quaint garden side patio would be a lovely place to dine during Vancouver’s warmer summer months.
At Il Nido, they use BC’s finest ingredients (Ocean Wise sustainable seafood and organic products where seasonally possible) when creating dishes reminiscent of Northern Italy – “The food of kings, peasants, and everyone in between.”
Italian-born owner, Franco Felice, was a gracious host during the tasting event and made all his guests feel right at home throughout the evening.
Featured wines of the night, poured by hospitable servers (our glasses were never empty), were Cedar Creek Merlot, Township 7 Sauvignon Blanc, Hester Creek Pinot Gris and Merlot, Sumac Ridge Merlot, Mission Hill Pinto Gris and Cabernet Merlot, Dunham & Froese Pinot Blanc, and Painted Rock Estate Winery Chardonnay.
Coincidentally, the fall tasting menu consisted of platters of Polpetini – Tuscan style meatballs (pictured above) served with savory tomato sauce and shaved asiago cheese. Pictured on the left is the Tapenade – Trio of sundried tomato, green olive, and eggplant served with crostini.
Bisonte – Sliced California bison entrecote with peppercorn sauce (photo on the left), and on the right is a plated trio of pasta including: Tortellini – Butternut squash stuffed tortellini pasta with crisp snap peas in a thyme cream sauce; Orecchiette – With warmed black olives, zucchini, garlic, rosemary, and chili oil; Cavetalli – With pancetta, fresh herbs, mushrooms in a light cream sauce.
Overall, the event was successfully organized by Danica of Dvinewrites Communications, and attracted other prominent Vancouver food writers and heavy hitters in the social media scene. It was great seeing Dennis Pang from Popcorn, Richard Wolak from Vancouver Foodster, and meeting fellow travel enthusiast Ariane Colenbrander from Ariane C Design.