By Travis Fehr
VANCOUVER — What does one imagine when they think of classic Italian food? Perhaps it’s an old nonna, rolling out homemade pasta on a wooden counter top with a pot of her family’s secret tomato sauce recipe simmering in the background. How does one bring those century-old flavours to today’s modern cuisine and still incite wonder to the senses? Savio Volpe, a new Italian eatery in the Fraser and Kingsway area, has the answer.
The 75-seat restaurant, whose name translates to “tavern of the wise fox,” is intriguingly designed, offering both a dining room that is pleasing to the eye, and also a menu that tantalizes the taste buds. The options are mouth watering, featuring everything from marinated olives and Italian cheeses to shared plates, pastas, and grilled, dry-aged beef. Having one of the few wood fire grills in the area, this fine establishment serves one-of-a-kind grilled squid, accompanied by fava beans and grilled endive — the thought “this is not your Grandma’s calamari” comes to mind. Pasta lovers will fall in love with the tender, melt in your mouth house-made ravioli with ricotta and fried, sage brown butter. If you’re missing the meat in your pasta dish, the tortiglioni (a large, hollow noodle) with grilled short rib and served with a tomato sauce is like no other.
Meatballs are not the word to describe the trio of spherical minced meats mixed with fresh herbs and served in a bath of neck bone gravy — and it’s not just the explanation that’s a mouthful. Finally, a night would not be complete without a sweet or two to cool off the palate — the chocolate tart is created with love and served with the finest fruits Italy has to offer, alongside toasted pine nuts, olive oil, and sea salt. Gelato and rice puddings are also part of the dessert menu, for those who are not chocolate lovers. Wash it all down with something fine from the wine and cocktail list, which also includes Prosecco and classic apéritifs like Negroni and Aperol.
If you are planning on going to Savio Volpe for date night, be prepared to spend a bit — the enticing menu will get you ordering a couple of items that range from $13-$33 each — but it is well worth it.
Osteria Savio Volpe is located at 615 Kingsway and is open Sunday-Wednesday from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m., Thursday-Saturday from 5 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.BC, British Columbia, food and drink, Italian food, Osteria Savio Volpe