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Aug 20, 2009 04:57 PM

going to Cioppinos as per your input-what should I eat?

Hello Chowies!
August 27th is my 14th wedding anniversary, the reservation has been made, and I am plotting my outfit.
I am very open to tastes but sharing with a nut-allergic husband, what's your recommendation off the delicious looking menu?

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  1. I don't think you can go wrong with anything. My friend who I usually go with is partial to the fish dishes. Myself, I loved the shortribs & the papparedelle. Enjoy!

    4 Replies
    1. re: ck1234

      another vote for the short ribs out standing as is the pasta.

      1. re: Philx

        I love his pastas so much I always seem to end up ordering them but having marauded freely off other dining companions' plates I would agree with ck. Really tough to find a dud on his menu. Though I just did have a minor infarction after noting the $88 tab for the jamon iberico app! Re the nut allergy -- I take it this isn't a "can't-have-nuts-anywhere-nearby" type allergy? I see they have almonds in one of the desserts... might be best to call ahead to be sure which I imagine you're used to doing :-).

        1. re: grayelf

          That just reminded me what grayelf said about the appy, be careful in your wine choosing, if you let them choose, you better take out a second mortgage or state your price range, clearly!

          1. re: ck1234

            Nice tip, ck, I'm not surprised with a 60-plus page wine list!

    2. My absolute faves are the award winning porcini chestnut soup (which I actually tried making at home from the cookbook-it turned out quite badly:), and the tortelloni of lobster and crab.
      I have always enjoyed any pasta dish he prepares with lobster or crab... I have also enjoyed the caesar salad, lobster bisque, sablefish, and chicken very much. For dessert, the chocolate cake, cheesecake, tiramisu, or creme brule.
      Happy Anniversary.
      PS I don't know if their are nuts in any of these dishes.

      1. We just had a great meal at Cioppino's last week. I emailed Pino directly beforehand and he made a special 9 course tasting menu for us. We also got a wine pairing with each course that they picked and was very reasonable (about $50 for nine 1/2 glasses).

        Our gluten free lactose free friend was going to join us which Pino said he could accommodate so the nut allergy should be fine.

        Our favourite dishes were the duck pate and wild mushroom tart.

        13 Replies
        1. re: rob1234

          Just found out we're being treated to another meal at Cioppino's in mid-Sept, o joy. Will be referring back to this thread for data before we go so keep your suggestions coming for the OP (and me!).

          1. re: grayelf

            Hey Grayelf, I am going there in mid September too:). I am looking fwd to the soup and pastas the most but will def look at this thread before we go. On a side note how do find out about and participate in the chowdowns you guys put together?

            1. re: grayelf

              We went to Cioppino's last night for our monthly dinner with friends and here were our hits and misses. My husband and I shared the zucchini blossoms with buffalo mozzarella fried in a tempura-mmmm absolutely delicious. The plate was garnished with a baby zuc and cherry tomato that was drizzled with something-not sure what but it went perfectly with the dish. Then I had the porcini mushroom soup which I always love, my husband had the veal carpaccio (special) and our friends had the heirloom tomato salad with crab (special)-everyone loved their starters. For dinner, I had the tortelloni with lobster and crab-it was a miss. Too fishy tasting. I had our friends taste and they agreed: too fishy tasting and rich. I didn't finish it but didn't care too much as I was already full! And I did have some of my husbands amazing dungeness crab risotto. It was perfect. There was a lot of crab in every bite and a lot of fresh peas. In fact it was the exact same dish I had at L'Altro Buca when it first opened and this was 100 times better. The cheese, texture, and balance of flavours was right on (L'Altro Buca's was too crabby and very dry as if it was mixed with steamed rice not risotto texture). Next time I will order this as we both loved it. One of our friends had the veal cheeks with pasta and she was raving about it. Another had taglierni with lobster tail-again too fishy. For desserts everyone ordered the warm choc cake which is one of my fave desserts there but I have had it the last few times at Market so wanted a change. I had the cheesecake and enjoyed the ice cream immensely-it tasted like cheese-whats not to like? The cheesecake itself was a little light-I prefer it to be rich and this one was gelatinous tasting. Could be a texture thing for me as I don't like jello either:).
              The wines paired with our meal were excellent. We gave them a price range and they paired beautifully with our dishes-I can't remember what they were now but we have had them choose other times and they are spot on.
              All in all not the cioppino's experience I usually rave about but with the exception of my entree it was excellent and I will return as usual.

              1. re: selena03

                selena: interesting about the "fishy" comments. I just read a reveiw on another board where a visitor said the exact same thing but that everything was too salty as well. You'd hope the chefs are tasting their food before it goes out!

                1. re: ck1234

                  Very timely, your report, selena (oops, I'm starting to sound like Gordon Ramsay). We're going tonight. I had just read the 101 best bites in VanMag thanks to ck, and noticed the linguine with lobster tail was on it. Now I'm wondering if I should mention it to my DCs or not: "How to elevate the luxe crustacean? Pino Posteraro’s lobster-tomato-cream sauce, touched with basil and the subtle heat of Thai chili oil, gracefully marries the claw and half-tail to the al dente pasta without overpowering either." Did your tagliarine have this kind of sauce or was it different?

                  BTW I'm printing out this thread to crib from so thanks to everybody who contributed. The FIL is footing the bill so I'd like to make sure we all eat well :-).

                  1. re: grayelf

                    How was your visit, grayelf? Anything "fishy" to report? :-)

                    1. re: ck1234

                      We had a good not great dinner. Will post a few pix and details later... off to Yaletown Brewery (eek) for dinner -- multiple rellies in town this w'end.

                      1. re: grayelf

                        So we had a very successful dinner here for my FIL's bday -- it is his favourite resto in Vancouver. Everyone was pleased with their meals and this is a fairly discerning bunch (with me being the only one who qualifies as picky!). I had the zucchini flower appetizer which was as previously reported very good -- I thought the batter could have been a tad lighter, same with the cheese but I really liked it. My main did not blow me away -- I had the short rib dinner. It wasn't bad, don't get me wrong, just a little pedestrian. I like the short ribs at La Buca more. And the presentation for the mashed spuds is kinda silly (see pic). As I mentioned, I've always gone for the pastas here and been very impressed so I think I will go back to them for my next visit. There was lemon tart on the dessert list so we had to order it -- well executed with full-on lemony taste and a light, crunchy crust. I also had to have the chiboustier (is that not the best word ever?) which was stellar -- try it if it's on offer. Hats off to the pastry chef whose offerings really made my meal that evening.

                        PS three of us had something "fishy" including the lobster but no fishyness reported.
                        PPS the photos aren't great as it was very dark but I'm quite proud of nabbing a few even with rellies in situ :-)

                        1. re: grayelf

                          Thanks for the have to have the short ribs with papardelle! Those zucchini blossoms looked like I have to try them!

                    2. re: grayelf

                      Sorry, I just saw your reply now. I am pretty sure that it was what our friend had as there was only one pasta dish with lobster tail and then there was the one I had. I didn't try his as mine was fishy and his was too so I didn't see the point:) Looking forward to your report!

                    3. re: ck1234

                      I was really surprised too-I didn't think lobster could be fishy:)

              2. Congratulations! it might not be sexy anniversary outfit-friendly but as other people may have mentioned, their pastas are outstanding. Bolognese, short-rib ravioli, lobster tortellini, veal papardelle - you can't go wrong! I would suggest at least sharing a pasta. Save room for dessert.

                1. I recently had a seasonal antipasti of battered, fried, zucchini flowers. Melt in your mouth goodness with tremendous flavour! On the pasta side of things I'm a great fan of the pappardelle with 4-hour-braised veal cheeks & porcini mushrooms. The flavours and textures are quite delicate and pair well with a light-bodied red wine.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: 12pines

                    12pines, you're killing me with that app! I love zucchini flowers, especially deep fried. I fear it will no longer be seasonal by the time we go :-(. Oh well, I'll have to make do with my zucchini blossom frittata (thanks Forstbauer's at the Thornton Street Farmers' Market)...