It was Mamallama’s day off and we finally found the time to go for Baby-Paca’s very belated birthday dinner (her birthday’s in November). Baby-Paca loves French food and really wanted to dine at Le Crocodile, but we were informed that they were fully booked for the evening. Disappointed and after much perusing, we settled on Trattoria Burnaby.
We made reservations so we were seated upon arrival. It was rather lively and loud inside the restaurant, I made Baby-Paca repeat herself numerous times while we conversed as I couldn’t hear her. The decor was trendy, and I love the design of the bar. It was in the center of the restaurant, circular in shape, outlined and lit up with polished lights.
Our server didn’t seem particularly friendly or professional. The standard just wasn’t up to what you’d expect from this kind of restaurant. We were brought plates and cutlery that had grease marks on them, and we had to ask twice to be brought a spoon.
As for the food, we ordered a pear and gorgonzola salad and beef carpaccio for appetizers. Everything was served in a timely manner, but it was a little odd that our side of brussel sprouts were served first. Nevertheless, they tasted pretty good.
The brussel sprouts ($7.95) were served with capers, chillies, parmigiano reggiano, and lemon. I like the slight char and crispiness on the surface of the brussel sprouts. The salty brininess of the capers were a nice accent.
I felt like the pear and gorgonzola salad ($11.95) should not have been named pear and gorgonzola salad. There were only a few slivers of pear and a tiny sprinkling of gorgonzola in the bed of arugula, radicchio and beets. Everything tasted fresh. The flavours blended nicely if you could get all the components in one bite, but there wasn’t nearly enough pear or gorgonzola to balance.
The beef carpaccio ($13.95) was served with a sprinkling of arugula, pickled onions, grana padano, forno bread, and grainy mustard aioli. The thin slices of herb crusted beef was tender, and Baby-Paca agreed with me when I said the flavour was strangely reminiscent of the rare beef served in pho. The aioli didnt have much of a mustard taste, had we not read the description on the menu, we would’ve thought it was just plain mayo. There wasn’t enough arugula to go with the beef so Baby-Paca stole some off our plate of salad to wrap with the slices of beef. The pickled onions brought most of the flavour. I felt like the forno bread were thrown on top as an afterthought, just for decorational purposes. It didn’t add anything to the dish. It was stale, tasteless and dry.
For our entrees, we had to get the truffled spaghetti with signature meatballs ($22.95). It’s the dish everyone that’s eaten at Trattoria talks about. The meatballs were moist and had just enough red sauce. But while they say signature meatballs, I thought they were just alright. It’s the spaghetti that takes the prize. Baby-Paca and I loved the strong aroma of truffle in the truffle cream. However, it could’ve used more salt. Baby-Paca and I took the liberty to add more salt ourselves, and it was instantly better.
I totally fell in love with parpadelle ever since trying the seasonal short rib pasta at Fable last winter, and have been on the hunt for good parpadelle ever since. Unfortunately, this short rib parpadelle ($19.95) was a huge let down. The braised short rib was dry and bland, like the rest of the dish. The cafe au lait sauce severely lacked sodium. We really don’t like wasting food, but we didn’t even want to finish this plate, and we had already sent the lamb shank back to the kitchen.
The lamb shank ($23.95) was very dry and tasteless. It tasted like the meat used in soup that’s had all its moisture and flavour cooked out of it. The bianco risotto under the lamb shank was also no good. The rice had a strange gummy yet hard texture to it. Our server had dropped by a few times to ask us how the food was, I have to admit that i’m pretty picky, but I usually finish my food anyway even if I don’t like it, so I just reluctantly said “it’s good” a few times, not wanting to cause any trouble. However, the plate just sat at our table and nobody wanted to touch it. After much debate, we decided we’d tell the server that it actually wasn’t any good and she took it off the bill for us without any hassle. She asked us if we wanted to order a different dish instead, but after the 2 rather dissatisfying entrees, we just settled for dessert.
We got the tiramisu ($8.95), and it was actually one of the better ones I’ve had. It was very moist and creamy, yet not too heavy. Nice expresso flavour with just a hint of alcohol.
The manager(?) Simon was very guest oriented and warm. He came over to ask us how everything was. Naturally, not very assertive at all and trying to be polite, I just said “good” and thanked him for asking, but my mom’s face had displeased written all over it. Simon left and came back to tell us that he got dessert as well as the lamb shank taken care for us since we didn’t have such an enjoyable experience. Apparently the parpadelle was a new addition to the menu, he said he’d be sure to give the kitchen our feedback. Simon apologized for all the mishaps today and as we were finishing up, I saw him whisper something to our server. As we were paying for the bill, our server brought us a box of macarons as a little peace offering. We appreciated the kind gesture.
+1 604 424 8779
102-4501 Kingsway, Burnaby