Sherman's Food Adventures: Rosa's Cucina Italiana

Rosa's Cucina Italiana

When it was suggested that we go dine at Rosa's out in Port Moody, I was rather indifferent.  You see, my last visit (which was a long time ago) didn't elicit any strong feelings for a return engagement.  Not that the food was terrible by any stretch of the imagination, it just wasn't memorable.  Sure, the walls are littered with celebrities and yes, it has got the strange location and "hidden gem" written all-over-it.  So why not, I can give the place another chance to prove why it is so popular where they often have a daily mini-Anton's lineup.

We kicked things off with a large Caesar Salad that definitely lived up to its namesake.  It sported fresh and crunchy romaine hearts that was moderately dressed.  We could definitely taste the ample garlic as well as the Parmesan cheese.  However, there wasn't enough anchovy and Worcestershire sauce for impact.  Furthermore, the salad ate rather greasy (as you can see from the glistening picture).  Another shared appie was the massive serving of 4 Meatballs.  I thought these were good, but not great.  The amount of bread in the mix created a mushy texture that wasn't meaty enough for our liking.  However, not all was lost as the tangy tomato sauce did have impact.

We ended up sharing some pastas including the Spaghetti & Italian Sausage.  Although the portion sizes at Rosa's doesn't compete with Anton's, it is still large in their own right.  On the top, we found 2 large uncut Italian sausages.  These were meaty and lightly spicy with the finish of fennel.  As for the pasta, it was al dente and well-portioned.  I thought the sauce was nicely zesty and tangy, yet the pool of water at the bottom of the plate lessened my enjoyment.  I made sure we got the Spaghetti Vongole as it is probably my favourite pasta.  This one featured a tonne of baby clams which ensured a certain brininess.  We chose garlic and oil sauce and it was definitely garlicky.  I thought it wasn't as greasy as it could've been which in turn made this one of the better pastas of the night in my opinion.

I wasn't a huge fan of the Homemade Gnocchi in cream sauce though.  It was awesome that the gnocchi was house-made, but it was rather dense and heavy.  With that being said, it wasn't terrible either, so let's not go to that extreme.  I guess the fact it was bathed in a rich and extremely creamy sauce (also cheesy) didn't help the dense gnocchi.  I think a tangy tomato sauce would've been a better match.  Our last pasta was the Spaghetti Carbonara which was actually quite good.  As with the other dishes, the pasta was al dente while enveloped in a creamy and cheesy egg sauce.  There was enough bacon for a salty richness.  Overall, the pastas were pretty much like the first time I had them - not bad, but not great either.  What was particularly unsettling was another customer was being extremely rude to our table for taking pictures, but instead of calming the situation down, the staff did nothing.  I understand that it creates a spectacle of sorts (and can be annoying to others), but no need to be rude about it (it was borderline harassment).  That literally and figuratively left a bad taste in our mouths.

The Good:
- Some pleasant dishes
- It's got that hidden gem personality to it

The Bad:
- Not really worth lining up
- Staff were not responsive to a rude and harassing customer


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