A special birthday dinner at The Italian Kitchen

I go to a lot of media events but I’ve never been treated as VIP as I was when I went to dinner with my boyfriend James for his birthday. After discovering that he rarely celebrates his birthday I decided that he deserved a special dinner and some fine dining in Vancouver.

The Italian Kitchen is not the crème de la crème of Vancouver but it is a well known restaurant notorious for their tasty food and their open concept kitchen. Located in the heart of downtown I decided that it was the perfect place.

Shaughn Wells

img from Italian Kitchen site

James and I were served a five course meal that night with some exclusive dishes not on the regular menu and brought out by Executive Chef Shaughn Wells himself. Alistar, our server was amazing and General Manager Neil Robinson offered us fantastic service.

Before we ate I had a delicious Pinot Grigio and James had a beer. Below is a summary of our gastronomical journey.

Course 1: Charcuterie plate with duck proscuitto and procuitto di parma, whipped cheese and forno toast (Paired with a Chardonnay)

Course 2: Heirloom tomatoes, whipped cheese drizzled in EVOO and a grilled eggplant, zucchini, red pepper and cheese stack (Paired with a Sémillon)

Course 3: Lamb sirloin medium rare with cannelloni beans in a truffle reduction topped with shaved truffles (Paired with a Cianti)

Course 4: Seared ahi tuna with a fennel salad and smoked lemon reduction (Paired with a Pinot Noir)

Course 5: Zeppole di Cioccolato – Italian doughnuts with chocolate ganache inside dusted in icing sugar and dipped in creme anglaise (paired with a Ruby Port – I didn’t want a Tawny)

Italian Doughnut

img from letuseat.com

I finished with a traditional cappuccino that was served with biscotti, in true European style.

Everything we were served was seasoned and cooked to perfection. When we asked about each dish we were given a thorough rundown about why the ingredients were paired together and how the wine would complement it. The Zeppole di Cioccolato was fantastic and despite being so full from the amazing meal I could’ve easily gobbled down more.

Considering my previous visit was a complete disaster (we won’t go in to details) I was pleasantly surprised at how the evening went in all aspects from food quality and presentation to service and wine pairing. This experience put my faith back in to the restaurant leaving me able to talk about it without a sour taste in my mouth.

A big thanks to the Italian Kitchen team for the excellent night. James enjoyed his birthday dinner tremendously.

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