Last Sunday James and I headed to Vancouver for less then 24 hours of adventure.
We started our trip by stopping at Ikea as we usually do... can't resist cheap Swedish home decor! Unfortunately the main reason we came was to get more pasta bowls and of course they were sold out. I guess everyones been reading my blog and saw how awesome they were... I'd better stop being so awesome. We ended up getting a new shelf to hold our ever growing collection of DVD's so that was great. Now finally mine and James' dvd collections can come together as one... I think he's embarrassed that mine are way better then his and that's why it took so long... yeah that's why I'm sure...
From there we checked into our room at the Coast Coal Harbour. This hotel was way too fancy for us in our jeans and sneakers. They gave us a room with an ocean view snuck in between two skyscrapers .. I guess in big cities that's as good as it gets. The room was gorgeous, but we barely spent anytime there which was a shame.
Before going to dinner we had to stop at Cupcakes and fill our addiction. We've tried a few options in Victoria but I still think these ones are the best even though they are a chain. At least they are local. I was only going to get one... then it was four... then somehow it was cheaper to get six. So much for that!
From there we headed over to The Italian Kitchen - 1037 Alberni Street, Vancouver, BC
James had heard good things and the menu online looked like it had reasonable prices and a tasty selection! I find Victoria is lacking good Italian restaurants so I was excited to check this one out. We arrived early, before 5pm as we had to get to the concert, but found there were still about 5 other tables seated so we didn't feel like we were having the early bird special. I decided the try the Hand-Rolled Gnocchi with roasted tomato and basil cream sauce. James had the Spaghetti with Spicy Kobe Meatballs which had been recommended to him. I also had a glass of the house white which was the cheapest wine on the menu at $7 a glass. I'm not a big wine drinker but this place was classy so I thought it was fitting. The wine was very good though so I was pleased, plus I couldn't tell you what any of the others even were.
I've had gnocchi before but it's always been the kind that comes pre made and is like eating hard chewy balls of tasteless dough. So I was hoping I hadn't made the wrong choice, but as soon as the plate arrived at my table I knew I hadn't. The bowl was filled with light pillows of dough surrounded by a flavourful tomato cream sauce. I am so glad I gave it a try because now I know how gnocchi should be, and it's nothing close to what I have had before. Though I am also spoiled because now I am a gnocchi snob and nothing but light pillows of deliciousness will be acceptable!
James was equally happy with his dish, loving the meatballs and not overwhelmed but the truffle oil in the sauce.
For dessert we ordered an orange and thyme infused creme brule and Tiramisu. The Tiramisu was amazing the perfect mix of sweet marscapone cheese, coffee and lady fingers. The creme brule was ok, it was smooth and had a great crunch on top but I couldn't taste the thyme at all, the orange over powered and it tasted more like an orangiscle. Which isn't all bad, just not what we were hoping for.
But even more exciting then all this delicious food is when I look over a few tables down on the patio and go... isn't that Michael Buble? No I thought it couldn't be, why would he sit on the patio beside the street where everyone can see him? Then I realize it IS him... but I also realize that I'm the only one staring and everyone else is either playing it cool or doesn't notice or care. I don't listen to his music but it's still really cool to see a celebrity out and be eating at the same restaurant as them! Luckily I only noticed him near the end of our meal so I didn't embarrass James too much. And the fact that I didn't have a camera, though I did try to steal James' phone to take a discreet picture. Oh well you'll just have to believe me!
After that we headed to Stanley Park and sat under the stars watching The Swell Season perform with Black Francis opening. I am a huge Pixies fan so I was super excited for Black Francis, his new stuff was pretty cool but I have to admit the whole time I was just hoping he'd play some Pixies. Swell Season was amazing as usual and this venue was the perfect place to listen to their music under the stars. My dreams did finally come true when for their encore they played "Where Is My Mind" and Frank Black came out... my mind was blown, I was one happy girl! Such a perfect ending to an amazing night!