Thursday, June 14, 2012

Food for 18 months Together

Time flies! Yesterday marked the 18th month of our relationship :)
Happy (literally) 18th Mensiversary Kevin!

We booked a dinner at Federico's since we read good reviews about the place, and it was also 2 of the Best Bite Awards from this year's Dine Out Vancouver Festival. We got there on time, and walked in to a HUGE group of people (and noise) near the entrance. Turns out that a lady was celebrating her 60th birthday with her family at the restaurant.

The hostess walked us to our table with menus (while we were still trying to get accustomed to the noise...). As we walked in, we saw an old-school dance floor in the middle of the restaurant, with a stage right behind it. Didn't take any pictures of the empty dance floor since little kids were running around chasing balloons, haha.

We sat down and looked through the menu for what to eat. Prices looked good. We ordered and then a waiter brought us our basket of bread. Kevin and I each ate one piece of bread and a giant breadstick thing (no idea what it's called, oops ><!) and decided to just wait for our food to arrive since the bread wasn't that warm and tasty :\

All of our food took some time to arrive. I'm thinking it's maybe because of the big birthday group (probably around 50 people?) that were present. The big group was also very noisy and me and Kevin were having a hard time talking to each other : ( pretty much having to shout at each other. So then we just decided to stop talking HAHA and we were both playing with our phones =.=" until someone was making an announcement or something because that's when the group hushed down by a bit.

Anyway, first up was our appetizer! We decided to order the Antipasti per due, love to share ($14/person) which includes Crostini alla provatura (warmed crispy bread and boccini skewers with anchovy butter sauce), Barchette di indivia (endive boats with gorgonzola, walnuts, prosciutto, lemon) and Polpette di tonno (breaded tuna meatballs, tomato sauce).

P/S all names and descriptions were taken from the restaurant's menu, linked above.

The appetizers weren't warm at all (maybe the meatballs, a little bit). We weren't sure if it was supposed to be like this, but when (who we assumed was) the manager came by to ask how the appetizer was and to take the plate away, we asked him about it and he said it was not supposed to be very warm, "maybe around room temperature". The crispy bread and cheese skewers were pretty good - the anchovy butter sauce was really fragrant. When the appetizer arrived I told kevin, "Smells so good! Smells like popcorn." L0L.

Then after a bit of wait our primi pasta arrived. We ordered the Pasta per Due, love to share ($10/person) with our choice of 2 pastas from the menu. We picked Gnocchi Pomodoro (hand-made Yukon gold potato gnocchi with fresh tomato sauce) and Risotto di Cinghiale (superfino Arborio rice with wild boar, braised with cinnamon and black pepper).

The gnocchi was like fluffy tortellini and it wasn't too cheesy, which was nice, I think. I liked the risotto better than the gnocchi though. I'm usually not a cinnamon person, but the cinnamon in it was very subtle. The pork was also quite tender. Good.

And then it was time for our Secondi main! Usually when we go to these restaurants we only order one main course. Since there was a sharing choice for the pasta, we decided to order another main as well, hehe. We got the Salmerino (oven roasted artic char with spinach, tomatoes, asparagus, roasted sweet potatoes, celeriac puree, fried capers, and butter sauce), which was $25.

Even though this restaurant doesn't have my Sablefish (ehhehe), they have a Salmon dish, so I decided to order and try it out. Again, I'm usually not a salmon eater (don't really like the texture), this one turns out to be not bad at all. In fact, I thought it was pretty good. I think any salmon eater/lover would like this. And even if you're not a salmon eater, no harm trying this either hahaha. The sauce tasted really good, and the sweet potatoes (my favourite part of the dish lolol) were very sweet!

Meanwhile, the curtains on the stage were drawn and live music in the restaurant started playing. There was a guy playing the keyboard, singing, as well as controlling some other pre-recorded music tracks, and a girl who sings and plays the tambourine. Wasn't really a fan of the guy's voice (plus his microphone was too loud, I think), but the girl's voice was nice for singing opera or broadway-type songs. She sounded weird singing faster songs hahaha but overall the performance wasn't bad. They played some old-school songs which brought back some nostalgic moments. My dad used to listen to those types of songs. : )

People also danced to the music. It was pretty entertaining and funny to watch. Everyone were just having so much fun, and at some point I felt like we were attending someone's wedding or were part of someone's party. There were also 3 other couples celebrating their anniversaries, and one other group celebrating a birthday, so the band dedicated songs to the 2 birthday women and 3 couples. : )

We were still having a little bit of difficulty waving down a waiter by the time we wanted our dessert. Menu took awhile to arrive but we weren't in a rush so it was okay.

We ordered the Dolci Assortiti, love to share ($7/person) with a choice of 3 desserts. We picked the Tiramisu (layered espresso dipped lady fingers mascarpone cheese mousse), Torta di Cioccolato (flour-less Callebaut chocolate banana cake), and Gelato della Casa (choice of vanilla or chocolate gelato and we picked vanilla). I wasn't used to eating the Italian version of a Tiramisu, so this one was a bit funny to me. It was watery, but it didn't taste bad. I liked the chocolate banana cake -- it was like eating a soft, banana flavoured chocolate. And the vanilla gelato, we just used to soften the sweetness of everything else. :P

We also got a waiter to help us take a picture! He took two, but I'm not sure which one's better so I'm uploading both :X oh and it was very dark, and Kevin didn't bring the flash for the camera, so the pictures are very grainy ><.

People were still having fun, but we decided to leave after 2 and a half hours of being there.

Overall, I'd say our experience at Federico's was okay for the first time. Maybe a second time with less customers would be a better experience? The restaurant had many tables though, and with a dance floor and live music, anyone going there should expect a very "active" atmosphere. My favourite restaurants from our mensiversary dining experiences are still Lupo and La Terrazza, but I might be a bit biased since I had sablefish at both of those restaurants... :P

This post turned out to be very lengthy!! I hope you guys enjoyed the read though~
I apologize for the grainy pictures. The restaurant was dark :P and we don't like using flash ;) but hopefully they look alright since I already brightened the photos by a ton.

: )

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