Perched atop a glow of retail neon on Robson Street, CinCin is an Italian oasis of fine dining, comfort, and indulgence. John and I were recently invited to taste the latest culinary creations from the heritage wood-fired cucina during their Festa di Funghi.
We were in Chef Todd Howard’s hands in terms of the menu while our server (and wine connoisseur) Jamie lead us on a delightfully decadent dining experience.
Our amuse bouche (sunchoke soup with chive oil) was followed by a serving of carpaccio (angus beef, mustard aioli, black trumpet mushrooms and boschetto al tartufo) and insalata di bietola (heirloom beets, buffalo mozzarella, basil and saba). Earthy, fresh, and fruity notes from Pemberton’s North Arm Farm mixed with bold, oaky Italian flavours from our wine pairings.
This was followed up by ravioli di zucca (with kuri squash, sage, amaretto and brown butter with agassiz hazelnuts) & pizzette di genzano (with fingerling potato, rosemary, taleggio cheese with black burgundy truffle). The ravioli was light and its sweet buttery flavour worked well with the crunch of the savoury pizza.
Cincin’s Italian cuisine is amped up with use of local ingredients including the Haida Gwaii halibut as our main course (served with mushroom crusted with umbrian lentils, roasted porcini and chianti vinaigrette). We also had the coniglio saltimbocca (saddle of rabbit with chanterelle mushrooms, ricotta gnocchi heirloom carrot puree and baby leeks) served with the trio of mushroom contorni (chanterelles, maitake and lobster mushrooms). The fish was so tender and weightless, the rabbit was completely unique, and the house-made gnocchi exquisitely tied the textures together.
It was our choice for dessert and being quite the dark chocolate fans we went with the black forest cake (with cherry sauce and pistachio gelato) and the dark chocolate and lemon semi-freddo (with hazelnut nougatine and organic raspberries). Petit fours also arrived at our table featuring Chef Thierry Busset’s famous macaroons, which are crunchy yet deliciously chewy slices of heaven.
We took our time with every pairing, enjoyed the warm, aromatic atmosphere, and soon three hours had passed. The dishes were not overwhelming by any measure and while some seemed abundantly decadent and rich, they were balanced out with other light and crisp flavours on the plate. We really enjoyed the family-style presentation, the time together clinking glasses, and the service which was as warm as the Alderwood air wafting from the oven.
If you would like to experience the Festa di Funghi before the end of November, leave a comment on this post to be entered to win your own night out at CinCin. The prize is for a chef’s tasting menu for two people including this month’s mushroom and truffle features.
The value of this prize is $200 (excluding beverage & gratuity) and I will draw a winner Wednesday November 17th.
Update The winner is IcemanYVR – have a fantastic dining experience!