Adesso Bistro (West End)
My fascination for urban form is well known both in academic circles (I have done extensive research on industrial/urban restructuring) and social circles (where people know that I always have been amazed with the little corner stores within neighbourhoods like Cardero Bottega, and with houses within a condo-transformed area such as Coal Harbour). I have a great ability to be amazed and marveled by little things.
And one of those little things I totally adore is a cute restaurant that is totally off the beaten path. Embedded in a fully residential neighbourhood (West of Denman), Adesso Bistro is a wonderful gem of urban restaurants who are little gems. I had been wanting to try Adesso Bistro for years, but for one reason or another, I hadn’t gotten a chance to visit. So last night I took JT there for dinner.
The exterior patio is wonderful, and while I felt minorly bad for taking photos when people were having dinner, I felt really great about the fact that their patio was packed. Located one block west of Denman and Haro, Adesso Bistro is a modern-Italian, elegant restaurant that is a must-try at least once in your lifetime. And the martinis menu sounds really fun. Plus they have a great Prix Fixe for $28 per person. Moreover, Adesso Bistro focuses primarily on Ligurian cuisine.
At Adesso Bistro we take a modern approach to traditional cuisine of Italy’s Ligurian region, a refreshing return to food made with love, tradition and soul. Our goal is to create an experience for our guests that will capture the essence of adesso italian cuisine. Liguria is a coastal region of north-western Italy, the third smallest of the Italian regions. Its capital is Genoa. It is a popular region with tourists for its beautiful beaches, picturesque little towns, and food.
We couldn’t make good on the Prix Fixe because we went on a Thursday, but what we ordered was fantastic. We opened palate with a shared Cimelio di Pomodoro ($12, heirloom tomato salad, buffalo mozzarella, basil and balsamic). The salad was delicious although I think it’s slightly on the higher-end of the price scale for salads, I think. Next time I come I have to try the Arancini (risotto croquettes).
The tomatoes were exquisite, I have to add. And I’ll apologize for the horrible quality of my photos. I just didn’t seem to find my “groove” nor the proper lighting. We were offered complimentary olives that I quickly disposed of as I love very strong flavours. Probably a mistake as I ordered Aragosta (at $25, pretty much in the range of what you normally would pay for lobster dishes, I think.
The Aragosta had poached lobster, risotto with lemon and ricotta, lobster sauce and it was absolutely exquisite. You may notice that I decided to ask for them to get the meat out of my dish (I don’t work for my food, my food works for me). While I’m someone who loves their food with strong flavours, and lots of spice, the risotto was delicate and just the right amount of citrus with the lemon. The lobster sauce kept the lobster flavour in my mouth for a long time, which I enjoyed.
Overall, I really enjoyed Adesso Bistro. I must come back to try their Prix Fixe. It’s not extremely expensive (bill came to about $80 or so after tip and taxes, which for 2 people seems to me VERY reasonable for a higher-end restaurant like Adesso Bistro). I’d definitely recommend it. And I really want to check the martinis.
We also had the pleasure to chat with a family (Mom, Dad and son) who were visiting from Michigan and thoroughly enjoyed this hidden gem. AND they took photos of their food, just like I did. It seems it’s now the norm! And I’m glad Adesso Bistro’s staff was so wonderful and accommodating not only to my requests but those of every customer in the restaurant.
Disclosure: I paid for both JT and my dinner’s on my own dime. I am neither expected nor required to write a review. In fact, I don’t even think the owners realized I blog about food even after we took photos, because another family did the same thing: take photos of their food. At any point, I retain editorial control of what’s published on my site.