The folks at Glowbal Restaurant Group have brought a little more Italian flavour to Vancouver. This is nice to see in a city where dishes from the Pacific coast tend to reign supreme. Located in Vancouver’s mini Rodeo Drive of Alberni Street is Italian Kitchen. Executive chef Ryan Gauthier who was at West Van’s Beach House Restaurant is now at the helm of Italian Kitchen.
I remember when this place first opened up, it was really busy and to this day it is still, especially during the lunch rush. Located on two floors, the first floor is for the more casual crowd and is much louder than second floor. The decor of the second floor is a little more intimate however, this place is far too loud and busy for that type of setting. My initial impressions were of a more upscale fine dining experience. However, after my initial visit I quickly realized it is not a quiet elegant restaurant.
The service at Italian Kitchen is always a hit or miss, I guess for a place that is so busy, especially during the lunch hour on a weekday I can’t really complain as we are usually promptly seated. Ultimately it depends on the server and they are not always a cheery bunch.
The food is usually pretty good. I normally get the Spaghetti with Kobe meatballs or the Quattro Formagio pizza. The price is decent for the portions, however some of the items I’ve tried will leave you with a sense of emptiness. Luckily, I have an expense account and all my lunches are paid for by “the man”. Otherwise for the price I pay here I would expect a little more. It comes down to what you order.
Italian Kitchen is a welcome addition to Vancouver restaurant scene, however I feel it lacks consistency, not only its food but in the service aspect as well. I’m sure they’ll work out the kinks. It is definitely not Le Crocodile, it should be categorized somewhere between Cactus Club and Le Crocodile.
1037 Alberni Street