Chianti’s (quickbite) – closed

August 26th, 2006 · 2 Comments

chianti's extChianti’s (now closed)
Address: 1850 West 4th Avenue
Phone: 604-738-8411

Quickbite: Chianti’s

By Jason Chin
Eat Vancouver editor

Seeing as Chianti’s is only a short jaunt from my apartment, it is somewhat surprising that it took me this long to give it a try. Add in the fact that I’m a huge pasta nut – I was in New York a few weeks ago where I enjoyed some superb pasta in that city’s little Italy – and you’d think I’d be all over this restaurant. Well, it turns out that I should have postponed this visit indefinitely, because if my first and only visit is indicative of the food and service at this place, Chianti’s sucks.

I arrived at Chianti’s this past Tuesday at around 5:30. Save for a few of the staff, the restaurant was empty, but then again it was quite early on a weekday so I don’t think this speaks to the amount of business they do. After being ignored by the server/hostess for a few minutes, she eventually looked up from an apparently intriguing stack of menus to show us to a table. If I had to translate the look she gave us into everyday English, it’d be somewhere in the neighborhood of “fuck off.” This was confirmed as she flicked the menus on the table without even glancing at us. She came back a while later, still not amused at our existence and took our drink order, half a liter of the house white. At this point we were carded, an act I’m used to seeing as I’m 25. After looking at my driver’s license for quite a while she proceeded to ask for another ID. Now I’ve never been asked to show a second ID at a restaurant before, but I complied it and it wouldn’t really have bothered me if she had been at all nice about it, and not as completely rude and somewhat hostile as she was.

Well, I wish I could say things turned around once the food arrived, but they didn’t. My linguine fresco was one of the worst pasta dishes I’ve had in a long time. The whole wheat noodles were fine, cooked al dente, and the shrimp were fresh and not overcooked. What I couldn’t get past was the fact that the pasta was swimming in wine. I’m no chef, but I believe most of that is supposed to cook off. My companion’s gnocchi was equally bad. Good gnocchi are light little pillows of potato. What we received was a gooey, sticky mess.

The evening came to the only logical end when the server tossed our check to us from about three feet away. I left a 15% tip, hoping that it was just a bad day for the restaurant and maybe the server had just received some bad news or something.

From my point of view, it can’t be that complicated to run a local pasta joint. Serve some simple but good pasta and be nice to your customers. Last Tuesday night Chianti’s didn’t pull off either of those directives, so unless I stepped into some vortex of bad service and food, I’d say you can do better than Chianti’s.


Tags: Italian · Quick Bites · Retired

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 anonymous // Dec 8, 2006 at 4:36 am

    All I can say is that seeing you’ve got an amazing medium to work with, there are a few restaurants that are insanely racist & incredibly offisde.

    Chianti advertises in the entertainment booklet. As someone who’s had culinary learning, this is always a desperate attempt at ‘putting onself out there’. The food was never going to be anything spectacular. I must say though, I am appalled at the level of serivce that is being dished out to diners at the moment. There has always been a silent code that servers followed. It’s kinda like customs canada saying that there is no racial profiling of any sort, but at the end of the day, nothing can be changed.

    White people are given subpar food but great service or subpar serivce & equally same food at asian restaurants. My white boyfriend has had issues with restaurants such as au petit cafe (where sandwhiches are as rare large flawless diamonds), where they tell him no sandwhiches are available, only to serve later patrons (who had not preordered).

    Being Asian (and from the new earners class, this means, I dont look ghetto chic) I am appalled that after calling Cincin’s (granted at the last minute), I was given and confirmed reservations, only to be turned away by the hostess the minute I had arrived. She sat a last minute couple who had reached there right before us—they were a non interracial couple.

    Food may be good or suck, but we are all racially profiled the minute we open the door. Write about that cause that’s going to be the new hot topic. I would if my hands werent tied. Anonymous.

  • 2 Joshua // Jan 2, 2008 at 9:56 am

    Dearest Anonymous,

    How does your inane rant relate to Jason’s experience at Chianti’s?


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