Sherman's Food Adventures: Trattoria Italian Kitchen (Burnaby)

Trattoria Italian Kitchen (Burnaby)

It is a common occurrence that many people pick on Trattoria and the entire Glowbal Group in general.  For me, I prefer to take each one on a case-by-case basis.  Not everything is bad with the Glowbal Group and in fact, some things are quite good.  Now don't think that I'm gushing over them because I'm not.  I'm just not going to say everything is good to get a tasting invite.  Yet at the same time, if something is good, despite the prevailing thoughts of many, I'm not afraid to say it and defend it.  With that in mind, we headed over to the brand new Trattoria in Burnaby after Friday night hockey.

Milhouse and I decided to share 2 items beginning with the Tartufo e Funghi consisting of portobello mushrooms, truffle honey, tapenade, asiago and arugula.  From the very first whiff of the thing, it was apparent that this would be impactful.  From the concentrated salty woodsiness (mushrooms and tapenade) to the salty nuttiness of the Asiago, there were bursts of flavour in each bite.  We found the crust to be quite firm and chewy where it stood up to the ingredients.  When there were parts without any toppings, the pizza crust on its own was seasoned well, but not that interesting to eat.  Next, we had the Crab, Lobster & Shrimp Cannelloni with Parmesan cream sauce, tomato sauce, carrot & arugula salad.  There was no shortage of sweet fluffy filling hidden within the pasta shells and ample baked cheesy sauce.  However, the pasta itself was a bit too thick and firm, which hindered the delicate texture of the seafood.  With that being said, the flavours were in harmony as the tomato sauce wasn't overly acidic nor salty.

Sweet Tooth decided on something a bit lighter so she could save room for dessert.  Go figure right?  She ended up with the Burrata & Mushroom consisting of balsamic glazed portobello, pine nuts and rosemary on herb crostini.  We found this to be pleasant with complimentary flavours including Earthiness, nuttiness, acidity and the aroma of the herbs.  As for the burrata itself, it was creamy with a few stringy portions from the exterior shell.  It appeared to be fresh falling within the "best before period".  Lionel Hutz ordered the Siciliana topped with Italian sausage, caciocavallo, olives, peperoncino and rosemary.  Due to the amount of olives on top, the salty and tart flavours helped overwhelm everything else.  With that being said, I personally love olives, so it wasn't a huge deal for me.  The combination of sausage and a drizzle of olive oil did make for a greasier pizza, but the dry crust kept the effect to a minimum.

Gordo went for the Penne Pomodoro with a simple sauce consisting of tomatoes, garlic and basil.  The penne itself was toothsome, but not overly so.  Bright, acidic and well-seasoned, the tomato sauce was fresh and appealing.  There was good hits of garlic and basil which added some variation in flavours.  This was a decent, if not small-portioned, pasta.  As a side, I decided to add the Brussel Sprouts tossed in lemon, capers, chillies and  parmigiano-reggiano.  Normally, I can't stand brussel sprouts, but when fried til slightly crispy and seasoned with so many tasty things, I actually wanted to eat them.  Dressed in enough lemon and chillies for a good amount of acidity and spice, each bite was filled with impact.  Unlike previous times, the brussel sprouts were on the softer-limpier side.  However, that didn't make or break the dish.

Onto dessert, we all shared the Zeppole al Cioccolato being Italian style doughnuts with chocolate gianduja and vanilla crème Anglaise.  I've had these before and they are certainly decent.  Soft with a bit of chew, these were sweet from the chocolate and everything else on the plate, but not to the point where it overwhelmed.  We also had the Tiramisu with Mascarpone mousse, espresso soaked lady fingers, caramel sauce and biscotti.  Despite being creamy and light, the lady fingers were too wet.  Hence the texture was soggy rather than fluffy.  Taste-wise, it was semi-sweet with a mild hint of espresso.  In the end, we were satisfied with our meal.  Yes, some of you might roll your eyes because it is the Glowbal Group.  However, we were served more-than-acceptable food in a nicely appointed dining space complete with great service.

The Good:
- Decent eats
- Excellent service
- Nice dining space

The Bad:
- On the pricier side (can get Costco gift cards though)
- Decent eats, but yes, there is better to be found at the same price point

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