Since opening its doors, NOVO Pizzeria & Wine Bar has become a favorite go-to spot for many Fairview and Kits residents as well as everyone over here at Eating in Vancouver. To celebrate the 3rd anniversary of the restaurant, owner Carmine Paradiso invited EiV as well as some other Vancouver foodies and bloggers for a family style pasta feast to say thanks for their support. If you haven’t been to NOVO before, they serve up authentic Italian food including antipasti, salads, Neapolitan pizza from the 900 degree wood fired oven, as well as a great selection of pasta dishes which are all made in-house.
We started with a new burrata appetizer coming to the menu very soon, the Burrata Cicheto. It is three spoons of delicious milky burrata, tomato jam, balsamic pearls, pistachio, pink peppercorn and mint. NOVO has a great selection of dishes that use burrata on the menu and this is a great addition. Meant to be eaten in one bite, your mouth is enveloped with the richness of the cheese, then you get the pop of the balsamic pearls, sweetness from the tomato jam and crunch of the pistachio. The combination of ingredients still let the cheese shine and this shouldn’t be missed if you love this Italian delicacy.
The first pasta course to hit the table was the Truffled Fettuccine with funghi misti, truffle oil and pecorino Romano cheese. With the combination of truffle and mushroom, this pasta definitely was on the earthy side and the truffle oil perfumed the whole dish. The fettuccine was cooked perfectly with it still having some chew to it and the noodles soaked up the sauce nicely.
Our risotto course of the night was a Risotto Di Bufala with mozzarella di bufala. It had oven dried tomatoes, thyme, cashew and arugula pesto. The texture and cook of the rice was spot on and the seasoning in the dish was good. However, I think the mozzarella and pesto in the dish were lost as the cheese was completely melted, which just gave the risotto a general rich flavor. They change the risotto selection regularly, and since this dinner, they are serving up a squash version which looks delicious.
Back to pasta and our second of the night, this is a Rabbit Ragu with black olives and tagliatelle pasta. Rabbit is one of those love it or hate it meats and I’m a lover of it when it’s cooked right. NOVO braised the meat for 6 hours which added a great depth of flavor to the ragu and it was still nice and moist. The olives added a nice pop of saltiness and the pasta did a great job of soaking up the delicious flavors of the sauce.
Next up was the Braised Beef Cheek Ravioli with onion confit, black pepper in a tarragon cream sauce garnished with a touch of orange zest. Each bite of this filled pasta was delicious and packed with big savory flavors. The tarragon cream sauce added a herbaceous note to the dish. To help cut the overall richness of the pasta, the orange zest was the perfect addition as it brought brightness and freshness to the dish.
We finished up the with the Sausage Orrechiette sprinkled with fennel pollen and toasted bread crumbs, along with a touch of allepo pepper and Parmesan. This is one of NOVO’s signature pastas and one of my favorites on the menu. They make the sausage in-house and season it without a ton of fennel which compliments the more floral fennel pollen that is sprinkled on top and the allepo pepper added some nice spicy zip. To soak up all those delicious flavors the orrechiette or “little ears” was great and it also had a nice chew to it.
To finish things off, we devoured NOVO’s Sicilian Cannoli filled with buffalo ricotta cream scented with citrus oil, orange blossom water and pistachios. This was a great way to end the meal. The cannoli cream wasn’t overly sweet and the citrus flavors, along with the pistachios, really made for a nice light finish to the whole dinner.
NOVO did a great job showing us that they not only do amazing pizzas, but also have a solid selection of pastas that shouldn’t be missed. I would like to thank NOVO Pizzeria & Wine Bar for inviting EiV for a delicious evening of food and drink with some of Vancouver’s best food writers.
NOVO Pizzeria & Wine Bar
2118 Burrard Street