Sherman's Food Adventures: Osteria Savio Volpe

Osteria Savio Volpe

I guess Vancouver is not much different than any other food city when it comes to "hot new spots".  When we are inundated by buzz and hype via social media, it always attracts foodies alike.  Despite the warnings from Grace, I decided to round up the softball team after our game on Monday to try out the "hot" Osteria Savio Volpe.  Oh and if you are wondering why my photos suddenly became crappy half-way through the meal, it is because they asked me to stop using my flash (which I obliged because it is their right). 

We were started off with the Formaggi with a selection from Quebec, crisp bread, walnuts and wild flower honey.  I didn't take note of the names, but the one on the top left was akin to brie with a crispy exterior while the one next to it was firm and nutty like a Parm.  The one below was also firmish, but was creamy and mild on the inside.  I liked the addition of the honey as it went well with the walnuts.  Next up was the Ox Tongue Tonnato which was very good in my opinion.  The thin slices of buttery ox tongue was nicely accented by the tuna, lemony mayo on top.  It was pleasant tasting with the pop of the capers.  This was my favourite dish of the night.

Drenched with enough butter to make a Hollandaise, the Garlic Bread was quite good.  It was a bit dense, but the crunchy exterior gave enough textural contrast.  As mentioned, it was soaked with garlic butter which was both impactful and decadent.  Not the best we've ever had though. From there, we moved onto our selection of pastas beginning with the Raviolini filled with veal, chicken & pork and finished with roasting juices.  This was our favourite as the pasta was tender while still al dente and thin.  Inside, the meat was moist and well-seasoned.  The best part was the sauce as it had a good amount of natural meat flavour as well as an appealing tanginess.

As for the Linguine with spring salmon, capers and Calabrian chili, we were not overly thrilled with it.  We found the pasta to be overdone.  We didn't find the overall texture of the dish including the "sauce" to be that appealing as it was rather starchy and had an off-putting finish. On the other hand, the heat from the chili was quite nice and impactful as well as the tang from the capers.  Our last pasta was the Tortiglioni with shortrib braciola and Sunday sugo.  The pasta itself was nicely al dente and held onto the sauce quite well.  The flavours were bright, acidic and sweet.  We found the shortrib braciola to be a bit dry and too mild-tasting though.

Moving onto the meats, we had the Meatballs with neckbone gravy next.  The large meatballs were a little dry and lacked any succulence.  There wasn't a whole lot of filler though which partially led to the meaty texture.  I liked the little pops of currant and pine nuts inside as it added variation in the flavours and texture.  The accompanying sauce was acidic and fresh tasting.  Before we hit the big plates of meat, we also got a side of Green Beans with brown butter, almonds and Grana Padano.  This was money as the beans still retained some crunch while cooked through.  The nuttiness from the butter and almonds were quite nice with the beans as well as the saltiness from the cheese.

The best non-appetizer dish by far was the Top Sirloin with horseradish and black pepper.  Presented beautifully medium-rare, the meat was buttery, tender and flavourful.  It was nicely rested where the juices stayed in the meat.  The large amount of horseradish underneath at first looked daunting, but in reality, it was nicely balanced where the spice came through without being over the top.  Lastly, we had the Suckling Pig with salsa verde, cracklings and radish.  We enjoyed the crisp and light cracklings as well as the brightness from the salsa verde.  However, the pork didn't seem to take on much roasted properties.  It was decently tender and not overly dry, but there was something missing.  That pretty much sums up our experience at Osteria Savio Volpe - some hits and some misses (especially with the pasta).  With that being said, it is worth a try (particularly if you order the right dishes).

The Good:
- Outstanding steak
- We got attentive service
- Nice vibe

The Bad:
- Hit and miss pasta
- Smallish portions