Sherman's Food Adventures: March 2022

Bamboo World Kitchen (Granville Street)

It goes without saying that eating healthier is a good plan when one normally dines on an abnormal amount of rich foods.  So with that in mind, I did not hesitate to accept an invite to try the newly opened Bamboo World Kitchen in South Granville.  Not only do they want the customer to be served healthier options, they are committed to be as sustainable as possible with local organic ingredients and Oceanwise seafood.  Furthermore, their packaging is plant-based and even their countertops are made from recycled chopsticks.  Now that is commendable, but honestly, we need to see if the food can pass the taste test too right?

So getting right to it, we sampled their Dim Sum items first including Bamboo Gyoza, Prawn Dumpling and Bean Curd Rolls.  So I gotta tell you, these were pretty legit.  The gyoza was vegetarian with a combination of cabbage, carrots and shiitake which was tender and moist.  I found the wrapper to be thin and al dente in texture.  There was enough flavour on its own due to the white pepper, five spice and black truffle oil, however, the side of citrus soy helped brighten up the flavour profile.  So if you are wondering how the prawn dumplings turned out, I'm glad to report that they were really good.  The dumpling skin was medium thickness but tender with a slight chewiness.  Inside, the buttery shrimp did that sweet snap thing with the unmistakable hint of sesame oil and white pepper.  There was a chili lime sauce that predictably added tang and spice, but I much preferred dipping it into the Royal Bamboo Sauce that came with the bean curd rolls (think of it as a hot sauce with tang and sweetness).  About those bean curd rolls, they decided to make them semi-crispy rather than the traditional soft version we find at Chinese restaurants.  I thought it was a good decision as it was less messy to eat and it had an airy crispy texture encasing bamboo shoots, carrots, wood ear and mung bean vermicelli.

Off to their main part of the menu where any of their creations could be had in a wrap or a bowl.  We decided to give their Bangkok Bowl a try that consisted of organic tofu (+$2.00) marinated rice noodle, tomato, cucumber, pickled carrot, romaine lettuce, cilantro, scallions, coconut curry sauce and royal bamboo sauce.  I thought that the ingredients were fresh and appealing while the sauces combined to offer up all of the flavours including spice, tang, sweet, savoury and even a touch of bitterness.  The noodles were soft due to being marinated and I personally would've preferred a chewier version.  However, Jacqueline's parents tried the bowls too and they liked the texture of the noodles.  So each to their own.

To get a sense of what things would be like in a wrap, we had the Bombay in a flour tortilla (also can opt for a sundried tomato or spinach tortilla as well).  This wrap contained organic local chicken (+$4.00), bamboo brown rice, red onion, cucumber, marinated chickpea, mango chutney, grape tomato, spinach and cilantro with a curry yogurt sauce.  Of course this ate very differently than a bowl where I was able to get almost every ingredient in one bite.  Therefore, I got the meatiness of the tender chicken, crunch from the greens and firmness of the chickpeas.  In terms of flavour, the curry yogurt was tangy with unmistakable Indian spices.  This was tempered by the sweetness of the chutney.  In my opinion, the wrap would be my choice.

Too add even more greens to our order, we also had the Bamboo Forest (which is more of a salad) with Oceanwise shrimp (+3.00), mixed greens, marinated rice noodles, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, edamame, mint, basil, cilantro, scallions, cashews, black sesame seeds, radish, sweet chili sauce and citrus soy vinagrette.  I really loved this bowl as the shrimp was perfectly prepared and once again, the ingredients were fresh and vibrant.  Lots of crunch from the veggies and a soft nuttiness from the cashews.  The combination of sauces added tang, saltiness and a minor touch of spice.

I feel that their Smoothies were their most stealthily awesome item on the menu.  We ended up trying the Raspberry (raspberries, banana, dates, vanilla extract and almond milk) and Blueberry Maple (blueberries, maple syrup, banana, dates, vanilla extract and almond milk).  These could also be had with soy milk if desired.  We finished these aggressively as they were smooth, fruity and smooth with just enough sweetness.  A really nice compliment to our mains and dim sum without feeling heavy or overfilling.

We saved a bit of room for dessert and had the Vegan Coconut Panna Cotta topped with cherry compote and toasted coconut.  Being a vegan version, there was no gelatin in this and hence it was more akin to yogurt in texture.  It tasted great with a mild sweetness complimented by the semi-sweet compote.  Texture and aroma was provided by the toasted coconut.  So you know what?  I guess it sounds clichéd to say this, but we really did feel good after eating this meal.  Nothing was heavy, yet still satisfying and full-of-flavour.  Bamboo World is a good option for those who need to grab lunch everyday but want to avoid the usual fast foods.  Looks like people agree with this sentiment as they are opening up their second location on Broadway close to VGH shortly.

*All food and beverages were complimentary*

The Good:
- Fresh local sustainable ingredients and plant-based packaging
- Flavours from around the world
- Reasonable pricing considering the quality of ingredients

The Bad:
- For me, the rice noodles could've been chewier, but then again, other people liked it  

Mauna Sushi

Last year, I visited Mauna Sushi with Jacqueline to pickup some of their takeout aburi sushi platters.  They weren't doing dine-in at the time, but we were invited to go back when they were back to normal operations.  Since the chef/owner used to work at Minami, it wasn't much of a surprise that the aburi sushi was pretty on point.  So all this time, I was anxious to try the food in-store because it would be freshly made and served at the optimal temperature.  So we ventured out to Surrey as soon as we were able.

Now they are more than aburi sushi, so we decided to have the Assorted Tempura as an appetizer (a large one at that).  Yes, the ebi and pieces of shiitake, yam and green bean were indicative of portion size.  They still ate well though with a crunchy, yet not overly thick batter on the outside.  I particularly enjoyed the shiitake as it was tender and was nicely contrasted by the tempura batter.  The ebi was good too being buttery sweet with a light snap.

Onto some specialty rolls, we got the Explosion Roll (imitation crab, cucumber, spicy tuna with tobiko, torched oshi sauce & black pepper on the outside) and the Red Seal Roll (California roll topped with red tuna, house special nikiri, onion sauce and black pepper).  If the first roll seems familiar, it is because of the Miku connection again.  This was done well with the pop of torched tobiko on the outside lead to a pleasing mouth feel.  The onion sauce on the red seal roll did the heavy lifting in adding a salty sharp sweetness.

Okay, we had one more specialty roll in the Spider Roll featuring the usual fried soft shell crab, avocado and deep fried green beans.  This was a substantial offering in that it was cut up into 10 large pieces.  It is best that you share this one, however, I can also see a scenario that one eats it all by themselves.  This is due to the crispy soft shell crab (was crispy even when sitting around for awhile) encased in chewy seasoned sushi rice.  

Okay onto the aburi sushi, we had the Salmon, Mackerel and Ebi first.  If you take a close look, these will remind you of Miku.  One taste and I would say that these were every bit as good as the ones from Miku (albeit at a lower price around $13.00).  Now to be fair, the pricing at Miku is based not only on the food costs (there is higher operational expenses as well).  My favourite of the bunch was the ebi as it had some appealing acidity and brightness.

We had one more aburi oshi in the Hotate and that was my absolute favourite of the selection we ordered.  Interestingly enough, this was the one of the unique creations by the chef.  Initially, I was a bit concerned with the spice added to the delicate scallop.  But in the end, it as balanced whereby the scallop was definitely noticeable (in texture and taste), but the spicy-creaminess elevated the flavour profile as scallop alone is rather mild-tasting.

Another original creation by the sushi chef was the Hoki Poke Box consisting of real crab, red tuna and avocado.  Now this was more about textures and subtle flavours unlike the hotate.  The ample (and I mean a lot) amount of real crab meat was fluffy and had the unmistakable essence of crab.  There was added creaminess from the avocado and a mild sweetness from the red tuna.  This was one of the few I dipped into soy.

If you remember my post for the takeout platters on IG, I tried their beautiful Mauna's Aburi Tart.  However, it was in a box and frankly, the picture I took didn't do it justice.  This combination of sushi rice, avocado, tuna with sesame and sockeye salmon topped with aburi sauce, tempura crunch, scallop and ebi was a meal in itself.  It was also delicious with a smoky creaminess combined with the sesame in the tuna and natural sweetness of the ingredients. 

For good measure, we added the House Poke Bowl with chewy and seasoned sushi rice topped with a generous portion of imitation crab, marinated red tuna, avocado, tamago, seaweed salad and tobiko.  When combined together, this was hearty and truly filling.  This also benefited from more ingredients than rice.  Hence, every bite was flavourful and full of textures.  All-in-all, Mauna Sushi offers up finely crafted eats ranging from the usual to more creative dishes at a reasonable price.  Definitely a hidden gem and I would actually say worth making the trip out to dine at.
*All food was complimentary*
The Good:
- Carefully prepared dishes
- There are higher end sushi creations that are reasonably priced
- Well-portioned
The Bad:
- Not close for the Vancouver crowd, but I encourage you to try it.  Good for us in the burbs. 

Nello's Bar & Restaurant

I'm sure everyone has seen the cost of food these days - it is through the roof.  Inflation is real and it has affected prices in the grocery stores and of course also the restaurant industry.  To get a half-decent meal these days, we are looking at paying minimally chain restaurant prices.  So what if I told you there is a new spot located on the corner of Lougheed Highway and Brunette dishing up Italian eats for a reasonable price?  With inspiration from Chef Nello of the former Rossini's (hence the name of the restaurant Nello's), we find pastas for only $18.00 each.  

Before the mains, we got some antipasti to begin including the Burrata and Prosciutto with confit garlic, arugula and aged balsamic.  Sure, this could be classified as a simple starter, but this was priced at a reasonable $16.00.  As you can clearly see, there was a good amount of creamy burrata (which was fresh) and also good-quality prosciutto.  I liked the addition of confit garlic on top as it provided a bit of aromatics to the burrata.

If we didn't have enough burrata in the previous dish, we got more of it in the Tomato Onion Burrata (a take on Caprese salad except with burrata instead of fresh mozzarella).  Again, this was simple, yet ultimately appealing due to the fresh ripe tomatoes, creamy burrata, red onion, fresh basil and aged balsamic.  Having vine ripened tomatoes was key as they ate well on their own, but was extra delicious with burrata.

One of the most surprising items was Shayne's Black Sambuca Prawns.  Honestly, I would've never imagined something grey blackish in colour would be so delicious.  That unmistakable hit of licorice was just right with equal amount of sweetness.  It was almost candy-like, but not quite.  Instead, it complimented the sweet snap of the prawns beautifully.  This was accompanied by an arugula salad and garlic bread.  Yes, I used the bread to soak up all of the remaining sauce on the plate.

For good measure, we also ordered the Garlic Cheese Bread as a side for our pastas.  This was the same garlic bread as in the previous dish and topped with cheese and toasted.  As you can see, the cheese was completely melted and there was a some charring on the top of the bread.  It was crunchy in spots while soft and chewy in the centre.  I personally would've liked an airier bread choice, but there was nothing wrong with this version either.

Moving onto the pastas, I gave the Bolognese with linguine first.   This version was more tomato-forward with beef, pork, garlic and red wine topped with fresh basil and parm.   There was no shortage of tender meat that was bathed in a tangy sauce.  I found the noodles just a tad past al dente, yet not overly soft either.  I would classify this as more home-style than high-end pasta, but for $18.00, this was very solid and well-portioned.

Sporting two gigantic meatballs, the Marinara with spaghetti was comforting and filling.  Meaty without much in the way of filler, the meatballs were on the denser side, but still tender.  The spaghetti was al dente and the marinara was tangy and thick.  Again, this more family style but then again, their motto is "Welcome to Our Family".  Therefore, this was something familiar and comforting.

Staying with tomato sauce, we tried the Pescatore with a marinara sauce, seafood, chili flakes and parsley.  The linguine was similar to the bolognese being just a tad past al dente.  The marinara ate very differently than the spaghetti and meatballs due to the addition of seafood.  There was an unmistakeable brininess to the sauce, which was good.  However, the shrimp were a bit overdone.  The rest of the seafood was fine though.

One of the most surprising pastas was the Penne Luxardo featuring the same sambuca as the prawns.  It was combined into a cream sauce with mushrooms, peas and pancetta.  With a similar flavour profile to the sambuca prawns, this dish took it a bit further with a touch of creaminess as well as the salty-fattiness of the pancetta.  Pasta was nicely al dente and held onto the right amount of sauce.

I think the best dish of the night was the Chicken Parm featuring a panko-crusted chicken breast in a mushroom rosé sauce topped with mozzarella and basil atop fettuccine alfredo.  That chicken breast couldn't have been any more tender and juicy.  It was perfectly prepared.  The rosé was balanced with both tangy and creamy elements while there was a generous amount of cheese on top.  I found the fettuccine alfredo to be creamy and well-seasoned.  We added extra grilled chicken to emulate the actual Fettuccine Alfredo on the menu.  This was not juicy like the chicken parm and I recommend that you go for the chicken parm instead.

A very close second best dish was the Veal Marsala with seasonal veggies and confit garlic mashed potatoes.  At first, I was wanting pasta rather than mashed potatoes underneath, but really, the potatoes were really good.  Nicely mashed where it was creamy with a few potato bits and skin, the garlic really came through.  This helped soak up all of the rich marsala sauce where I could taste the marsala as well as the ample mushrooms.  Really good as the veal was super tender while the root veggies on the side were still crunchy and vibrant.

Onto dessert, we tried the Tiramisu which was nice presented with a half cocoa powder dusted top.  Underneath, we found it to be more whipped cream texture than mascarpone but that just made things a lot lighter.  It wasn't too sweet and the hits of espresso were also on the milder side.  On the bottom, the lady fingers were properly soaked being soft and fluffy without being too wet.

Our other dessert was a selection of Matteo's Gelato featuring Strawberry, Hazelnut and Blood Orange on top of house-made granola.  Texturally, the gelato was creamy and light, while melting quite fast (which is a good thing for gelato since that would mean no thickeners or stabilizers).  I enjoyed the blood orange the most as it was fruity and purposefully sweet.  In general, the food at Nello's was quite good at a reasonable price point.  Since they just practically opened, some things might need a bit of tweaking, but there were some standout dishes such as the Sambuca Prawns, Chicken Parm, Veal Marsala and Penne Luxardo.  Ultimately, Nello's is a good addition to Maillardville and offers a better alternative to all the chain restaurants and pubs in the area.

*All food and beverages were complimentary*

The Good:
- Something more upscale in the neighbourhood
- Well-priced
- Solid eats with some stand-out dishes

The Bad:
- A few tweaks needed, but common for a brand new restaurant

Gangnam Tofu Soup

Okay, let's get the joke out of the way first...  Yup, I recently visited Gangnam Tofu Soup in Coquitlam - "Oppa is Gangnam style, Gangnam style".  Alrighty, with that taken care of, I'd like to say that I do enjoy a good Korean tofu soup and according to my friend, Gangnam Tofu Soup & Korean Grill does it well.  Better than House of Tofu Soup apparently (but honestly, that isn't a high bar IMO).  Well, we met up for some tofu soup and other eats on a Monday night.

So I'm not sure if it is the pandemic (supply issues and/or not wanting to carry too much inventory) or it was a Monday night, but they didn't have many of the dishes we wanted to order.  Well, they still had some Banchan for us in the form of kimchi, bean sprouts, stewed potatoes and tofu skin.  I gotta say that their kimchi was legit where it was flavourful without being sour and had a nice balanced spice to it.  Stewed potatoes were soft and full-flavoured.

Of course we had to indulge in some soft tofu soup since that was the point in dining at Gangnam.  We ended up having the spicy Beef Brisket Tofu Soup.  Gotta say that this was pretty darn good.  Broth was spicy and had depth that exhibited some brininess as well as spice from the kimchi.  I thought this was pretty spicy but not to the point it was overwhelming.  The brisket was super tender and the tofu was buttery soft.

As part of the tofu soup, one could make it a combo with a side of Beef Bulgogi and rice for a total of $19.95.  That we did and it really made the whole thing a filling meal.  There was a considerable amount of rice (which was meant for both the bulgogi and the soup) served in a stone pot.  The bulgogi itself was served on a cast iron hot plate on a bed of white onions.  Sweet and well-seasoned, the beef was tender and went well with the rice.  Could've used a bit more searing, but it was still delicious.

We didn't end there with the soup as we also got the Gamjatang (Pork Bone Soup).  This came steaming hot with the usual perilla seeds on top.  Oh, I really loved this soup as well where it was full-flavoured and also exhibited depth.  I could really taste the meat and also the sweetness of the veggies.  The large pork bones had plenty of buttery and tender meat falling off of them.  I also enjoyed the soft chunks of potato.
So there was one order of boneless chicken left, so we had to make a decision as to what flavour we should choose.  We ended up with the Soy Garlic Korean Fried Chicken because the kids said so (yes, they matter the most...).   Although the colour was a bit pale, the batter was crispy and the dark meat chicken was tender and juicy.  I found the sauce to be sticky and sweet with only a bit of saltiness.  Plenty of fresh garlic though.
Going for the usual dishes we order at Korean restaurants, we had the Dolset Bibimbap.  This came sizzling and we were able to get a rice crust.  The trick is to mix everything and then push the rice against the bowl with nothing really in the middle.  There was plenty of ingredients and they were well-prepared.  The rice was a little on the wetter side so the parts not touching the stone bowl was soft.  Of course we mixed in some gochujang (but after the fact because the kids don't prefer it.  The server was a bit horrified that we didn't originally mix it in.  LOL).

Continuing on with the usual, we also got the Japchae.  Portion size was decent, but wasn't huge by any means.  It was $21.00, which is pretty standard at most Korean restaurants.  However, I still think this particular dish is usually pricey at most places.  Anyways, as for this version, it was very black-pepper forward.  I personally enjoyed that as it was flavourful and not overly sweet.  The noodles were not clumpy nor greasy.  Plenty of ingredients too, so all-in-all, solid dish.

Lastly, we decided to try the Rice Cakes with Cheese which was indeed very cheesy.  However, we thought there was a bit too much in the way of white onion.  As such, the flavour profile was sharp rather than merely being cheesy.  There was a bit of spice and the rice cakes were nicely textured being soft with an appealing chewiness.  Overall, we thought the meal at Gangnam was solid where the tofu soup was excellent.  People are super nice and the place is spacious with lots of parking.  A good choice if you are in the Coquitlam Centre area.

The Good:
- Excellent tofu soup
- Super nice people
- Generally solid eats

The Bad:
- I guess this might be a one off, but they didn't have much stock in certain things (not blaming though because Covid, high food costs and supply chain issues might have contributed to this)

Carlino Restaurant & Lounge

Well that didn't last very long did it?  Miantiao came and went in less than a year.  Part of the Kitchen Table Restaurant group, the quirky Asian-Italian menu at Miantiao never really caught on.  As I stated in my post, Miantiao was fine as a concept, but not a fit to be located in the ritzy Shangri-La Hotel.  Now we have something that is more mainstream in Carlino Restaurant and Lounge offering up Northern Italian share-plates.  As such, I gathered up the whole family including my parents to try as many dishes as we could stomach.

We were tempted to do their "Fai Tu" family-style tasting menu for $85.00 per person, but we ultimately went a la carte to ensure the exact dishes we wanted to try.  I had my eye on the Grilled Octopus with new potatoes, salsa verde and grilled orange.  I thought this was well-balanced texturally and in taste.  The octopus was tender with an appealing chewiness while the tender potatoes were almost creamy without sacrificing its structure.  Salsa verde was bright, tangy and garlicky.  One squeeze of the orange yielded natural sweetness to the dish.

Beautiful to the eye, the Swimming Scallops were almost like escargots.  Baked in the shell with butter, parsley and garlic, it certainly had a similar flavour profile.  However, I personally enjoyed this more due to the natural sweetness of the scallops as well as the buttery texture.  A wedge of lemon was available on the plate if one wanted some acidity to cut through the fat.  Hey, I merely soaked all that buttery goodness up with the bread!

Up next was a dish that had the same ingredients as one of the items on Miantiao's menu, but of course not remotely close in preparation.  The Warm Chicories were tossed in a dressing of prosciutto and pancetta, topped with walnuts and sitting atop a walnut puree.  I enjoyed this very much as the chicories maintained a crunch while the oils from the pancetta offered up aroma and saltiness.  The puree underneath was smooth and mild (which accepted the dressing well).

Now for more chicories (well in this case endives), it accompanied the Venison Crudo with fermented chili and golden yolk.  One would think that employing venison, the tartare might be gamy and tough.  Well, this wasn't the case at all as the meat was nicely prepared being buttery and tender.  Furthermore, the seasoning was on point with noticeable spice from the chili.  The silkiness of the egg yolk afforded a luxurious texture.  

Okay, I don't normally order much charcuterie when there are so many other choices on the menu.  But the kids love it, hence we added the Prosciutto Duo with alpine butter, gherkins and spiced rye crisp. Gotta say though, never a bad thing snacking on some buttery San Daniele prosciutto...  But that wasn't all, the rye crisps were light and indeed crispy.  Great to go with the rich alpine butter.

Onto the pastas, we ordered 4 of them including the Tagliatelle with ragu della casa first.  This featured a rich meat sauce that, as you can clearly see, not short on the meat.  Hence, it was full of body and natural meat flavours.  It was also balanced with sweetness and a minor hit of tomato.  The pasta itself was perfectly al dente and coated evenly with the delicious sauce.

Definitely German-inspired (the cuisine in the Friuli region has many influences), we also had the Spaetzle with ragu bianco and cabbage.  I honestly didn't think I would like this, but it worked.  First of all, the spaetzle had the right texture of being tender with an elasticity.  It was nicely seared with butter and also properly seasoned.  The plethora of tender meaty morsels made for a hearty dish, yet the shredded cabbage broke up the heaviness to a degree.

The Francobolli or little postage stamp was another winner of a dish.  Those cute little raviolis were texturally a delight with a mild chewiness yet being delicate at the same time.  They were filled with roasted game (combination of meats) which was a bit different. Yet, it was ultimately meaty and tender with the definite hit of rosemary.  The use of the reduced game juices and red wine (with butter) ensured there was some depth and silkiness to the dish.

Our last pasta dish was also very good in the Potato Gnocchi with sausage and sage.  Those large gnocchi were pillowy soft while still offering up some chew.  Some of the best gnocchi I've had in a while in terms of texture.  The large chunks of sausage were meaty and chewy (in a good way).  It was full-strength in terms of flavour and I couldn't put my finger on it.  It tasted rather sharp, almost like blue cheese.  The lemon butter sauce helped keep things bright.

Over to the meats, we had many of them starting with the Whole Roast Butterflied Trout with meyer lemon & caper butter sauce.  This was very good where the trout was perfectly prepared being moist and flaky.  The simplicity of the sauce provided fat, saltiness and acidity.  It was not overpowering which meant that the fish could be the star.   Would eat this again.

For the next dish, we tried the Pork Cutlet Milanese with sweet & sour cabbage.  Reminiscent of schnitzel, this was beautifully browned and crisped up in butter.  There was a certain richness to the crunchy breading while the meat was on the stiffer side.  The classic squeeze of lemon helped cut the heaviness.  Further more, the cabbage was another item that brightened things up.  Loved the plump raisins hidden within.

We also went for the 6oz Holstein Dairy Cow Tagliata Steak with miner's lettuce, cabbage, balsamic and grana padano.  Now the quality of the steak itself was excellent as it was super tender and moist.  However, it turned out medium rather than the medium rare we requested.  With that being said, it was still good where the meat was properly seasoned and the side of greens with balsamic helped balance the meat.

Our last meat dish was the Veal Osso Bucco with saffron risotto and gremolata.  This was a very flavourful dish as the gremolata was pretty much at forefront.  However, at the same time, the saffron risotto was noticeable as well.  I would say the saffron was slightly obscured by the combination of meat juices and tangy brightness of the gremolata.  I found the aborio rice to be still al dente while the veal was mostly fall apart tender.  Yes, the small spoon of bone marrow was a real treat too.

We ended up sharing 3 desserts starting with the Chocolate & Hazelnut Tart with poached pear and vanilla cream.  Silky and rich, the ganache was mildly sweet with the aroma of hazelnuts and the slight bitterness from the chocolate.   I enjoyed the tart shell as it was firm and had a dense crunch (in a good way).  Pears on the side were tender and naturally sweet.  

Also got the Strawberry Crostata with zabaione semifreddo and meringue.  This was also pretty good with a thick and firm buttery crust.  I would've liked more fruit, but it was still impactful and offered up sweet and mildly tangy elements.  I would say the lemon curd did help add more fruitiness to the dessert.  Crispy meringue rosettes provided some crispiness while the sermifreddo was quite nice on its own.

My favourite dessert of the bunch was the Tiramisu.  Yes, it isn't anything new or inventive, but this one was done right.  The ladyfingers were properly soaked so that they were moist and completely flavoured with espresso.  There was just enough moisture around to keep things fluffy and creamy without being too wet.  Sweetness was on point as well as the textures.  Nice finish to a generally solid meal.  If we had to compare to the previous iteration of this restaurant, Carlino is a huge improvement and props to the chef for creating a unique Northern Italian menu.  I feel this restaurant is closer in alignment to the Shangri-La than Miantiao ever was.

The Good:
- Although we have many Italian restaurants in town, there is some uniqueness going on here
- Generally solid eats
- On point service

The Bad:
- Some proteins could've been prepared better
- On the pricier end, but costs are high these days and this is a prime location


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