La Quercia [Restaurant]

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Continuing the theme from last week’s post about Jax’s birthday, as a family we went to her favourite Italian restaurant here in Vancouver, La Quercia.  Serving Northern Italian style food, Jax loves this place for their Famiglia offering — a family-style share plate set menu, where the chef cooks what is fresh for the day.  With either a Small, or Large option, you can get roughly 7 dishes, or 11.  Being a veteran of this place, Jax chose the Small option, as it is more than enough for a regular appetite.

A couple of notes about this visit — As most of you know already, my white-flour allergy limits what I can eat, especially at an Italian place.  Knowing that most Italian restaurants do not cater to my needs, I went not expecting to eat half of the dishes.  Jax’s mother was also on Chinese medication, with strict dietary restrictions.

After ordering a couple bottles of wine, and reminding our server about the request we made for a non-white-flour dish when we made the reservation, as well as the strict limitations for Jax’s mother, the food started coming.

The first plate was a Charcuterie.  As you can see, presentation is quite pretty.  There was good balance between the cured meats and the pickled veggies.  A good way to start off the meal.

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Side note: They served this with white bread.  They did not carry whole wheat bread.  However, they did come out with sesame crackers for me, which didn’t really work together, but was a nice gesture for improvising a substitution.

Next up was the Caprese Salad.  Of course, it’s not a traditional one, it was La Quercia style.  I do not have a fine palate at all, so this was a waste of a dish to me.  Jax on the other hand loved it.  She’s not writing this review however, so I will give this dish a 1/5 🙂

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At this point, the dish specially made for Jax’s mother came out.  We requested a plain pork dish, and that is what we got.  The Pork Chop was cooked well, with a nice reduction.  Simply using salt, it was decent.  It fit our requirements quite nicely.

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The Squid dish came out next.  The beans were a little hard for my liking, and the squid was just a hair rubbery.  I did like the flavour however.  I don’t believe as a table, we enjoyed this dish as much as the others.  There were still pieces left through to the end of the meal.

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The next dish that came out was the filler dish which fit my white-flour-less requirement.  White Asparagus Risotto.  This one dish, as simple as it looks, was my favourite of the night.  I’m not a huge risotto fan, however the flavour, and texture of this dish made me want more.  I ate more than my fair share of this.  A definite 5/5.

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The regular pasta dish came out roughly at the same time for the rest of the table.  Veal Agnolotti.  I can’t comment on this, other than saying it smelled good.

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The secondi was a Ribeye with Arugula.  Pretty traditional.  I didn’t care for it.  I’m highly partial to red meat dishes now, so if it’s not absolutely perfect, I won’t be impressed.  This was completely average, from it’s sear, to its flavour.

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The Dessert Platter came out last.  Once again, no comment on it as these desserts are death to me.  I do recall that around the table, each person liked a different cake than each other, but they weren’t blown away by them.

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My dessert was a Lemon Cream.  This was made with limoncello, and was fantastic!  Everyone took a small spoon, and fell in love with it.  We actually requested that they make another batch for the whole table, which they did!  This was the dessert that completely satisfied everyone.  It was obvious that they used a full heavy cream in it, as it was so rich and smooth.  Next time, they should just skip the cakes, and serve this.

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Once again, since I am the one posting this, and not Jax, my viewpoint is completely different from hers.  She rates this place a 10/10, and it suits her style and taste buds.  For me? it’s above average for sure, but doesn’t suit me.  The Risotto and Lemon Cream were stunning, and I would go back for them.  The proteins were lacking in every way though.  Service was great however, as was their willingness to try to accommodate our requests.  Food: 3.5/5.  Service: 4.5/5. 

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