Cotto Enoteca Pizzeria

Baby-Paca, Mamallama and I were pretty full from lunch and thought that we wouldn’t need dinner. However, a little after 8 we started to get a little hungry. We were feeling pasta, so we decided to go to Cotto’s.

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The decor inside is modern with dark wood furnishings, accented with shades of red. While it provided a more hip and cool environment, it lacked the rustic, homely feel of what you’d expect from an Italian restaurant.

The restaurant wasn’t too busy when we got there as it was close to closing time. We were seated and brought water and menus right away. As we were browsing through the menu, our waitress informed us that all pizzas on Mondays are $12 (we also found out about $12 pasta Tuesdays) so we decided to get a pizza, along with a salad and a pasta to share.

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Beet salad ($10): The dish had slices of red and yellow beets plated nicely with arugula, honey citrus vinaigrette, citrus and goat cheese crumbled on top. The acidity in the vinaigrette complimented the delectable sweetness of the beets and masked the bitterness of arugula. The goat cheese was so smooth, it basically melted in our mouth.

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Salmone ($12 (original price $17): The salmon pizza is blanketed with fresh mozzarella, smoked salmon, crispy capers, 63 degree egg and a drizzle of hollandaise sauce. The pizza was not delivered to our table hot, only kind of warm. while the crust was crispy at first, it quickly became chewy as it cooled off. The 63 degree egg was perfectly runny and delicious, but I felt like the salmone pizza was a bit too dry as there was no sauce under the layer of smoked salmon, which was a little too salty.
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Linguine boscaiola ($16): I’ve been craving parpadelle pasta for the longest time so we substituted the linguine with parpadelle for this plate. This dish also did not arrive to our table hot, which is a shame because it probably would’ve tasted better. The pasta was cooked to al dente but the noodles were only lightly coated with a thin layer of alfredo sauce, which made the dish a bit dry, along with the ground beef and pork. I also could not taste the mushroom and vegetable sofrito, but I loved the rich, earthy taste and aroma of the truffle oil. Truffle oil was basically our reason for ordering this plate.

Our food took quite a bit of time to get to our tables, considering how relatively empty the restaurant was. We were puzzled as to why our plates didn’t arrive hot as well. Our waitress also forgot to bring the cheese grater over so we had to remind her. Perhaps everybody was busy cleaning and closing up the restaurant. Overall, I think we’d return for their specials on Mondays and Tuesdays, but we’ll probably come a little earlier next time.

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COTTO ENOTECA PIZZA
+1 604 299 8002
North Burnaby
6011 Hastings Street, Burnaby

JOEY

I distinctly remember looking out the window and seeing the sign for Joey Tomato’s (Coquitlam location) whenever we drove over to my grandmother’s for a visit. However, I never dropped in and gave it a try until it was renamed JOEY.  My family decided on JOEY for dinner to celebrate my older sister’s birthday. From the outside, JOEY looks pretty unassuming. Indoors, it’s like the typical dimly lit restaurant like Cactus Club or Milestone’s. It’s nicely decorated and there’s a lively atmosphere.

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As soon as we were seated, our waitress asked if we were celebrating anything special. We told her we were celebrating a birthday and she surprised us all with lemonade slushy in shooter glasses. The lemonade tasted a bit too sour and a little artificial to me so I ended up giving mine away to Baby-Paca to finish, but I appreciate the gesture.

For starters, we ordered the yam fries and ahi tuna tacos to share. For the entree, Mamallama, Baby-Paca and I ended up ordering the steak frites, my older sister got the lobster and prawn ravioli while my mom’s boyfriend got a burger (which I did not get the chance to photograph or taste).

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Yam fries with truffle lemon aioli ($8.50): The yam fries came sprinkled with grated Grana Padano (a cheese that tasted like parmesan) and were delicious with the aioli that it came with. The slight tang from the lemon made the aioli less heavy than other mayonnaise-based sauces. I love the decadent earthy aroma of truffles. Truffles just makes (almost) everything taste better.

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Ahi tuna tacos ($12.50): The seared rare ahi tuna was served on a flat little deep fried tortilla with coleslaw, and a light wasabi aioli. The shell was crisp without being oily or greasy and it was nicely salted. The tuna was complimented well by the coleslaw, which had an acidic ginger dressing. You could tell that the vegetables in the coleslaw were fresh as the sweetness in the cabbage comes through. The only downside is that the aioli didn’t have that kick you’d expect from the wasabi. It only tasted faintly of wasabi, it wasn’t spicy at all. Eating it was also a little messy because the taco shell was piled pretty high with coleslaw and the shell crumbles on you.

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Steak frites ($20): The CAB prime sirloin is topped with parsley butter, with a side of rocket greens and fries. Baby-Paca and I added blue cheese butter on the side (additional $3 each) as the flavor of the parsey butter is kind of mild and lacked a bit of sodium, we preferred something stronger with more richness. The steak came like we ordered it, medium rare. It was juicy and pink on the inside, but it was still a little chewy. Prime sirloins are known for being the most flavourful cut of meat, but it is also not the most tender cut of meat. The steaks were considerably small (5oz) compared to the steaks we’re used to seeing, but honestly, for $20 it’s still a good deal and the portion on our plates were definitely enough to fill us up. The rocket greens (arugula) were wilted by the balsamic dressing and had a shiny sheen to it that put me off slightly, but it was tasty without that bitterness that usually accompanies arugula. They were also super generous with the fries, which I enjoyed. Some people may prefer them more crispy, but I like the mushy kind of fries (they were kind of like Mc Donald’s mushy fries but less salty).

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Lobster and prawn ravioli ($22): The ravioli pasta was stuffed with lobster and crab meat, topped with grilled prawns, lobster cream sauce and fresh dill. My sister also added an extra wedge of garlic toast ($2.25). I love pasta, but I generally avoid ordering ravioli at restaurants because I don’t like the mushy filling. The grilled prawns were nicely done, but the ravioli would’ve tasted pretty one-note and bland if not for the dill.

Our waitress was friendly and attentive. Mamallama mentioned that her piece of steak was chewy when our waitress came by to ask us how the food was tasting and she apologized and sent it back to the kitchen even though it was already half eaten (Mamallama was originally gonna let it go and just finish her meal). She replaced it with a peppercorn steak that was noticeably juicer and more tender and she had taken it off of our tab altogether. Talk about excellent service!

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JOEY
+1 604 939-3077
Coquitlam
550 Lougheed Hwy, Coquitlam

www.joeyrestaurants.com