1037 Alberni St, Vancouver.
Italian Kitchen is one of those swanky good looking restaurants downtown. The kind of place with $20 mains that you can’t afford to go to all the time. Until now. Italian kitchen just blew their availability wide open by offering to-go lunches. From 8am- 3pm Monday thru Friday you can snap up Italian Kitchen’s upscale taste for downscale prices. The offerings include pasta dishes, paninis, salads, soups, pizza, pastries, and more. The to-go is in the hotel lobby between the Italian Kitchen restaurant and Bluebird.
The only real downside of the to-go version is that you will spend half your lunch hour waiting in line behind 20 pissed off businessmen and women in their wrinkled ill-fitting suits while they furiously jab at their baclkberrys. I know, it sounds like the WORST! I hate waiting in line especially with people I have zip in common with – but just play it cool. The food and it’s respective prices are worth the wait.
So far I’ve gone twice and my taste buds lost their junk both times. First I went for the half toscana panini and beet salad. For $5.25 – yep you read right, five bucks. The panini was crisp, fresh bread loaded with prosciutto, buffalo mozzarella, and sweet basil. The salad was a cool red and gold beet number with baby arugula and goat’s cheese. The half sandwich and salad were both huge. You could get a full salad and whole panini for $11 – but there is no way you could manage to finish both. Next time around I indulged in a huge helping of penne and meatballs ($6). No, you couldn’t get this anywhere else – nor could you make it yourself. This sucker came with roasted tomatoes and spicy kobe beef meatballs the size of a toddlers fist. I also couldn’t resist a lemon ricotta square ($2) to which I commented “yeah – I could eat this alllll day.” I topped off both my super lunches with a sweetly warm americano.
Fortunately, since the Italian Kitchen is used to uppity spoiled diners they will happily accommodate requests. Half salad – sure, half sandwich – why not? Yolu can order the baked pasta with no cheese and sauce on the bottom only – they won’t care. They’ll serve it however you want it with a professional smile.
I still haven’t had the good fortune to try any of the pizzas – but I did ask a girl next to me if it was any good – she smiled and nodded whilst shoving half a pie into her face. So, I guess the pizza seems like a promising option for the next time I visit. For some reason if Kobe beef, chicken, prosciutto, seafood, etc. isn’t your deal – there are also a few veggie options – salads, grilled veggie paninis, wraps, tomato pizza, pesto linguini…and so forth.
If you are lucky enough to be a rich kid – then check out the real restaurant here. I highly recommend it.
Miles Davis – Tribute to Jack Johnson