Happy mid-June everyone! With summer just around the corner, good lighting is in order for many restaurants with the long hours of daylight (despite it being cloudy in Vancouver). I met up with some food bloggers to try out Savio Volpe, one of 2015′s most interesting openings. With rustic Italian fare, does this eatery have great plates to share or is this just pretty looking food? Read on to find out.
Food and Drink:
Team Savio (Picky Diners, Foodgressing, Food Wench) came here for a weekday dinner and I had a great taste of the following:
- Latte ($4.25)
- Ox Tongue Tonnato ($14)
- Garlic Bread ‘all’ Americano ($6)
- Bagna Cauda ($17)
- Meatballs ($14 + $3.50)
- Mezzaluna ($18)
- Octopus ($19)
Starting with the latte, this was a true work of art. Is that a swan!? I’ve had some $4.25 lattes before and none have looked this good. Bravo. Bonus points awarded because this came with a cookie on the side.
The Ox Tongue Tonnato was the first appetizer to arrive at our table and this was an elegant dish with lots of spread to go around the sliced tongue.
The Garlic Bread ‘all’ Americano was up next and this was quite the buttery garlic bread. I figure if you took this and squeezed it in your first, a good puddle of oil would seep out because that’s how soaked this bread was. I’m almost scared to wonder what makes it so American, but it was a little much on my butter tolerance.
The Bagna Cauda was a hot anchovy and garlic bath meant to serve at least 3 people. The idea here was you’d grab some bread and veggies, soak them in the broth, and chomp it all up. The veggies were great though I found the bread to be on the sparse side. A little more bread to soak up our extra Bagna Cauda would have been great; the garlic bread would not have been a good idea with its oily predisposition.
Next up were the Meatballs. Normally these come in a set of 3 but we got one more to fit our table for only $3.50. Value! These were very juicy (thank you neck bone gravy). We were advised to scoop up the excess sauce with our drippy garlic bread and this was a great recommendation.
Next up was the Mezzaluna. This was a pasta dish served al dente with spinach, dandelion, and wild onion. Gotta say my favourite bit here was the crispy sage on top. Pasta lovers should rejoice because the pasta here was very satisfying on my taste buds, though if you’re really into tomato sauces you’ll need to turn away from this buttery sauce.
Last but not least, the Octopus. This was served with chickpeas, cherry tomato, spicy salami, and a bath of olive oil. The octopus was tasty with its chewy exterior while still tender on the inside. Bonus calorie points came in the form of chickpeas which went great with the salami. There was a lot of oil on this plate though so maybe you’ll want to take care not to slurp too much excess up.
Savio Volpe makes its mark in the little collection of restaurants along Kingsway at Fraser. The space inside is beautiful, reminding me of a larger Bestie with its large windows and clean looking wood interior. There’s seating for about 80 guests here with a bar in the middle. The kitchen in the back has lots of space for you to peek through on your way to the washroom.
Service here was fantastic. Our server loved talking about the dishes they were serving and gave better descriptions of it all than I did in this blog post. She was also very patient as we bickered amongst ourselves on what to order and on her 4th well-timed visit, she applauded our choices and made further recommendations (like dipping the garlic bread in the meatball sauce!) Bravo.
One-liner: Premier Italian at a fair price and fantastic service
Highlight: Ox Tongue Tonnato
Recommended for: Italian share plate and latte art lovers
Would I go back? Yes.