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Dario's (Italian Cultural Ctr) Review - Vancouver

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Had a business dinner here on Monday night. My boss used to rave about the place and I don't live too far away so I booked it. I haven't been here for at least 10 years when I went with my Italian boyfriend at the time, but I really didn't remember much about it...good or bad...

The restaurant was nice, white linens, big wine bottles on display like Texas Mickeys, but only 2 other tables occupied at 6pm. One of the party was late so the 3 of us started with mineral water...and then house wine which was god awful! CHEAP, CHEAP Montepulciano d'Abruzzo. I didn't order it, but I knew it was going to be bad & it was!

When the 4th arrived we ordered an antipasto platter & mussels for the appy. I enjoyed the olive oil mixture for the bread the most! It had something grainy in it, and parmesan cheese...I enjoyed it. The mussel broth which was with tomatoes was bland & tasteless. The antipasto had a couple of good nibbles...the 3 guys really devoured it. I got a prawn & a piece of salami & one olive...they took care of the rest.

The waiter (new?) very cute, but very stiff & uncomfortable asked if he could tell us about the specials...halibut..blah blah, and then ended with, "Oh, and we have Osso Bucco"...to which I said, "Sold". The others ordered rack of lamb, gnocci special & veal something or other...

Well, I was never so disappointed to find out my osso bucco wasn't veal when it was delivered, it was lamb! It was hard to cut off the bone, really quite chewy & tough, not to mention bland (theme of the night) tasting! It was served with 2 tablespoons of risotto & a couple of pieces of grilled zucchini & 1 piece of broccoli. That was it! Terrible! Shameful really! My boss had 4 skinny minny lamb chops for $30. The veal dish had 2 pieces of scallopini, 2 thin, thin pieces with the same veggies but he had a tablespoon of mashed potatoes. The gnocchi looked o.k. No one commented good or bad, though I did voice my dismay about the osso bucco being lamb and not tender!

Dinner was way over priced! Food was way under-whelming! I think we all agreed that this was the last visit we will make here! Service was very good though...but when the bread & olive oil dip are the highlight of the evening...there's nothing more to say...

PS: fmed, it was too much of a business dinner for me to pull out my camera, even if I did have it with me! However, the flashing pix of the lamb chops on their menu on the website, is true!

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  1. Great review. I too haven't been there in about 10yrs (probably longer)...I remember it being decent and old-school back then. It's a distant memory though.

    >>PS: fmed, it was too much of a business dinner for me to pull out my camera, even if I did have it with me! However, the flashing pix of the lamb chops on their menu on the website, is true!

    Haha...no worries. I actually do that too. I have to resist pulling the camera out when no one's looking.

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    1. re: fmed

      I go about once a year, it's close to my office and some staff members love it here. Me, meh. It's okay food but not great. Disapointing because it is the italian cultural centre. My italian friends don't enjoy it here either.