Party Tray from Jumbo Sushi

Alright, this will come across to you like a test post. It is. There are a few things I wanted to test out and wanted to see how it goes.

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For some reason, I felt that the past winter had been particular long and drabby and cold. Nothing exciting happened during the past few months. But the winter is finally over … yah!

Actually it was still cold but at least the sun is out with a vengeance. So, I dragged a very reluctant Suanne out (the boys were OK) to have sushi takeout lunch at the park. I am wicked, I know.

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Il Nido on Thurlow and Robson, Vancouver

Weekend is getting more precious to me these days. Work had been building up with just a few months away from delivery. Lots of loose end to tie up and the team is beginning to feel the pressure. So work had been rather intense and I really look towards the weekends more than ever.

To unwind, Suanne and I decided to go downtown for dinner on Friday. I enjoy those time outs with Suanne — just she and I — and put work behind in the right way. We decided to check out Il Nido because we just got an email saying that they had just launched a new spring menu.

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Il Nido is an Italian restaurant located in a quiet corner of Robson and Thurlow. The location is just perfect for Suanne and I as we wanted to have a quiet dinner away from the bustle of Robson and yet after dinner, we could go walk along Robson to soak in the excitement the street has to offer.

It seems like Il Nido is one of the oldest restaurants on Robson having been around for more than 20 years. It has the charm to this place compared to the many newer establishments around the Robson area.

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Not knowing how busy Il Nido is, we had reservations made. When we arrived, they did not seem to have our reservation but I guess it was really not required at all. We were the only people there when they opened for dinner at 5:30PM.

Il Nido has a cozy atmosphere with simple decors. I do noticed that on every table is a bottle of wine. How does that work … does anyone know? Suanne and I had not had an entire bottle of wine for dinner before. Does a table of two normally finish off an entire bottle? What happens if it is half-finished?

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We ordered Bellini for drinks instead since Bellini is a very Italian cocktail. Most of their cocktails is about $6 but the Bellini is $12. When I ordered this, they told me they serve the “real” Bellini, not like those popular frozen Bellinis you normally get at places like Cactus Club (I always had Bellinis at Cactus Club!). We were quite surprised that it came in just half a glass. It was crisp and comparatively light in alcohol which is just how we like our drinks.

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What we like a lot about western dining is the bread. Suanne and I always look forward to the bread they serve and uses that as a yardstick of sorts of the restaurant. We appreciate it a lot if they make the bread themselves.

Il Nido’s serves homemade Italian bread and told us that they made them fresh. It is dense and on the dry’ish side. Like the ones we had at the Brix, they also serve this with multiple dips — olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt.

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We asked a dumb question to the waitress … how does one normally take the dip? Dip one at a time, a sequence (olive first then balsamic vinegar) or what? Dumb question begats dumb answers … she told us she does it all three at a time.

We like it a lot and asked for more bread. Suanne ALWAYS dunk a lot of these sort of things and soaks everything up — and she wants ME to ask for more.

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Il Nido’s menu is simple and limited to a couple of pages. We thought it might be a good idea to opt for the “Let the chef make your 3 course meal tonight”. We asked if the meal will just be an item on the menu or if they will make sometime outside of the menu. The waiter told us it will be something outside of the menu.

So we settled for an order of the $45 “Let the chef make your 3 course meal tonight” and a separate order of mains … to share.

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Expecting to be surprised, I was not very impressed with “secondi” salmon to tell the truth. I mean, how Italian is salmon anyway? It is more west coast fare than Italian. LOL! (more…)

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