Sherman's Food Adventures: La Forchetta

La Forchetta

A long time ago, I had visited Da Mario out on Hastings near Holdom and came away unimpressed.   Not only was the place dated and in desperate need for renovations, the food was salty and not delicious.  It continued to operate up until recently where it suddenly closed and replaced by La Forchetta.  For all those renovations that should've been done before, has been accomplished by the new proprietors.  On the outside, the unsightly faded awning has been replaced by modern signage.  Inside, the place is clean and dare I say, trendy especially for North Burnaby.

We met up with Elaine and Costanza for dinner recently and found the place bustling with customers.   The first few plates to arrive were the Frittura Di Calamari and Polpette.  Although very pale in colour, the calamari was crispy, not greasy and light.  The squid itself was tender with a good rebound texture.  We would've liked to see more seasoning in the batter itself, but the side of pomodoro was more than enough to flavour the dish.  As for the meatballs, they were tender and almost airy.  It could've stood for more natural meat texture, yet at the same time, it wasn't a deal-breaker.  We went for the tomato sauce over the rose and it was tangy and decently-seasoned.

For our pizza, we chose the Capricciosa with tomato sauce, mozzarella, mushrooms, olives, artichokes and prosciutto cotto.  This pizza was loaded with toppings.  So much so, I think it had something to do with the overly soft crust on the bottom.  There was some charring underneath, so it wasn't as if the heat wasn't high enough.  With that being said, the crust itself was a bit dense in parts, yet it was well-seasoned.   For $35.00, we felt the Tagliata Di Entrocote (14 oz Certified Angus ribeye with baby arugula, parmigiano and balsamic reduction) was reasonably-priced.  We asked for it to be prepared medium-rare, but it came out rare.  Despite that, the steak was well-rested without any juices flowing onto the plate.  Moreover, it was charred nicely and was tender.

We ended up with 2 pastas including the Pappardelle with spicy Italian sausage, mushrooms and rosé sauce.  Although the house-made pasta was close to al dente, the amount of sauce made the dish sloppy and ultimately softened the pasta as we ate.  It did taste good though with a balanced spiciness.  That was further enhanced by the meaty and spicy sausage.  With that being said, more salt was needed to give the dish some impact rather than just relying on the spice alone.  Our next pasta was a house-specialty in the Maltagliati La Forchetta with pancetta, zucchini, cream and crushed pistachio.  This was really good with tender sheets of pasta where it was enveloped with just the right amount of cream.  There was nuttiness from the pistachios as well as the seared pancetta.  This is apparently one of their signature dishes and it showed.  However, the meal as a whole was a hit and miss.  You experience here would highly depend on which dishes you order.

The Good:
- Modern inviting space
- Excellent service
- Some good dishes

The Bad:
- Refinement is needed with some dishes


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