Wednesday, November 24, 2010
The restaurant has recently moved into the ground floor of the new Atrium building at Yates and Blanshard. This is a dramatic improvement from the last location close to the London Drugs on Yates Street. The ambiance of the old location kept me away, so I was glad to see the move to the new location.
The restaurant is one of the first ones in this city that feels like it belongs in Seattle or Vancouver. It is another sign that slowly but surely we are becoming a better place for restaurants.
After having to be downtown for various errands on Friday, Sheila and I stopped in at Zambri's for lunch - we both really wanted to try it. We got the the restaurant right on the dot of noon and it was almost full. We ended up sitting at the bar because the tables available in the atrium part of the building were a bit too cool to comfortably sit at.
The service quick and attentive. The staff was really making sure we were being well served and were willing to answer any questions. This was not one of those situations when the server comes back while you are mid bite and asks if everything is fine.
I ordered the prosciutto pizza. It was not a wood fired pizza, but it also did not have the burned bits that I often get on the Prima Strada pizzas. The crust was good and the sauce was clearly made from roma tomatoes slowed reduced over a long period. There is a certain sweetness that comes with that process. The only complaint I would have is that the mixed greens on top would have worked better as a mesculn and not the full sized leafs they used. It made it hard to eat with such large pieces of the greens.
Sheila ordered the gnocchi with sausage ragu. She had expected a tomato based sauce simply because of the ragus she has had have been tomato based. The gnocchi themselves were decent but not stellar. They had a little bit more tooth than we expected, though when eaten with the ragu it worked well. Sheila is still of the opinion that best gnocchi she has ever had was at Ulla.
We got our meals quickly and managed to be out of the door again at 12:30 but it did not feel rushed.
Can I do better at home? Not really. I could not make a pizza that good. I might, if everything went right, manage to make comparable gnocchi, but most days I would not be able to.
I expect we will regularly go back to eat there. I am looking forward to eating dinner there as the setting is more conducive to an evening out.