Q4 – (Quattro) Italian Restaurant – Desserts

Restaurant: Q4
Cuisine: Italian
Last visited: July 16, 2010
Location: Vancouver, BC (Kitsilano)
Address: 2611 W 4th Ave
Price Range: $50+

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: 4 Desserts: 5.5
Service: n/a
Ambiance: 5.5
Overall: 4
Additional comments:

  • Contemporary Italian
  • Chef Bradford Ellis
  • Extensive wine list – famous wine list
  • Fine dining Italian
  • Fresh ingredients and flavours
  • Romantic, intimate, cozy
  • Monday & Tuesday $10 pasta night
  • Pizza recently added to menu
  • Seats 80+
  • Outdoor patio dining
  • Dinner service only
  • Sun-Thurs 5-10pm
  • Fri-Sat 5-11pm
  • Closed Sunday
  • Zagat Rated restaurant
  • 3 locations
  • Dinner at Q4 Restaurant – click here

**Recommendations: Family style sharing, anitpasti platter, Radicchio Bocconcini, Spaghetti Quattro, Dessert Platter: Ciliege Filate, Molten fudge chocolate brownie, tiramisu, creme brulee

Quattro Restaurant, widely known as Q4 Restaurant is one of Vancouver’s most famous fine dining Italian restaurants. It’s been nominated numerous times for “Vancouver’s best Italian restaurant” by Vancouver Magazine. It has 3 locations, Whistler, North Vancouver and the one I visited on West 4th in Kitsilano. Q4 has been in operation for over 10 years and specializes in contemporary Italian cuisine in a luxurious dark wood atmosphere. Chef Bradford Ellis has been the chef at Q4 for 10 years and he adds his own West Coast twists to classic Italian dishes.

I came here for dinner and overall I thought the dinner was good, however some dishes could have been better and I wasn’t overly impressed. After trying their antipasti platter, Prosciutto di Parma Pizza, Spaghetti Quattro (Q4’s signature pasta) Ravioli Piemontese (mushroom ravioli), Galletto al Matton (brick pressed Cornish game hen), and Branzino alla Crosta (pistachio crusted Alaskan black cod) I still managed to have room for dessert. But c’mon now, that shouldn’t surprise you!


Oh god, where do I start? This is the dessert platter and I can barely contain myself looking at the photo.

Q4 does not have an official dessert menu, but they do advertise it at the end of the meal of course. Make sure you save room because these are not to be missed! I was honestly floored by these desserts and I was more impressed with the desserts than I was with parts of dinner. I was almost certain Q4 Restaurant would have an in house pastry chef, but Executive Chef Bradford Ellis was also responsible for preparing these delicious desserts. I would definitely come back for this platter and recommend them, and not just because I love desserts; but because I have a lot to compare to and honestly these were excellent.

I’m very serious when it comes to desserts. I’m very specific with the order and particular on my desserts and I strongly believe there is a way to best enjoy them, especially when served in a platter. Start with the tart and work your way to the sweetest. Things may change if you have something hot and with ice cream, but it just means eat faster to get to it sooner.

Added note: I was invited to review Q4 Restaurant as Follow Me Foodie, so therefore I cannot comment on the service I received that night. The food was complimentary, however I accepted the invite based on the fact that there were no expectations from Q4 for the outcome of my review. They were very understanding and cooperative. The desserts I was served is how it’s served usually.

On the table:


**Ciliege Filate – 5/6

  • $8.50
  • It was Mascarpone cheese sandwiched between 2 thin crispy sheets of filo pastry and topped with Amarena sour cherries.
  • DROOL! This dessert will bring you back to Italy. It was very authentic Italian with Italian ingredients and flavour.
  • I kind of wish I didn’t know it was filo pastry because it was very crispy and almost like a hard chip and I was expecting light flaky layers. However it didn’t bother me too much because the crispy texture was a nice contrast with the creamy and fluffy sweetened vanilla Mascarpone.
  • It was sweet and very tart with plump Amarena cherries that I’m sure are from Italy. They come preserved in syrup already and although tart they are still sweet and carry a lot of juice.
  • It may look rich, but the tartness breaks up the creaminess and the mild Mascarpone cheese helps round everything out. It’s not overly sweet and just a perfect balance. Delicious. It was a very easy dessert to assemble but the ingredients are expensive. This was my 2nd favourite of the 4 desserts, also the lightest and least sweet. My favourite was the richest and sweetest of the 4 desserts though…

**Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee5/6

  • $8.50
  • If you like creme brulee, then this is perhaps one of the best out there. Although I did enjoy the Amarena Cherry Creme Brulee from CinCin Ristorante more.
  • It was served with a house made (I think) orange flavoured biscotti that was very nice and crunchy and perfect to dip with an Earl Grey tea.
  • I do wish that there was an Italian spin to it since creme brulee is traditionally a French dessert.

  • The burnt sugar crust was nice and thin and very caramelized in flavour to the point of being borderline overly torched and slightly burnt.
  • The custard was beautiful in texture and rich in flavour. It had an intense vanilla bean flavour and I could see the specs of vanilla bean seeds throughout. It was creamy, smooth and light and not overly sweet and it was the most aromatic creme brulee. I’m not even a huge fan of creme brulee and I ate a lot of this one. It tasted like pastry cream with an airy texture and I liked dipping my biscotti in it.


  • $8.50
  • This was a delicious Tiramisu and I liked it better than the one from Lupo Restaurant + Vinoteca
  • This was definitely a gourmet Tiramisu, considering Tiramisu is supposed to be an easy dessert traditionally made of left over ingredients of the day.
  • I love Tiramisu and I thought this would be my favourite, but everything else was so much better that it actually came last on my list – although it was still very good!
  • It wasn’t soggy and the lady fingers were lightly soaked. It could have been a little more soaked for my liking though, although it wasn’t dry. The Mascarpone was nicely sweetened and I felt like the cream was also flavoured with espresso.
  • It was quite a decadent Tiramisu and it was served with the softest dark chocolate shavings. It all melts in your mouth so easily, but the vanilla bean creme brulee was even more velvety smooth than this.
  • It was plated on a bed of chocolate and vanilla sauce which gave it an added sweetness and made for outstanding presentation.

**Molten Chocolate Lava Brownie5.5/6

  • $8.50
  • OMG! After eating it I said it was the best brownie I’ve ever had. However while driving home and flipping through my food memory I almost forgot about the actual best brownie I’ve had in Vancouver (to date) – the Chocolate Mascarpone Brownie from Coast Restaurant.
  • This brownie was still delicious though! Again I wish it had an Italian twist to it. The Chocolate Mascarpone Brownie was actually more Italian than this one, but I’ll let it go because this was truly delicious.
  • It was the most decadent and rich chocolate brownie and it was in between a brownie and a molten chocolate lava cake. It was still definitely a brownie and the name suits it perfectly. It was a very simple brownie recipe, but the execution was what made it stand out.
  • It reminded me of a Pazookie (which is one of my favourites) from The Hub Restaurant, but instead of a cookie it’s a brownie!

  • It was half baked and it had a crispy crust and then a tender and very soft half baked brownie batter inside. It was ooey gooey stick to your throat good. This is for a real sweet tooth. It’s rot your teeth sweet and so chocolaty, but the chocolate is high in quality that it’s full flavoured and not just sugary.
  • It’s very rich and you barely have to chewy because it just melts in your mouth… writing this is literally making me salivate.
  • It’s drizzled with caramel sauce and and also served on it so there’s a slight caramel sweetness that I could actually taste underneath all that decadent chocolate.
  • The ice cream wasn’t my favourite and I don’t think it was a quality ice cream. That was a bit disappointing. I couldn’t see any vanilla bean specs and it was a very creamy ice cream, like how Breyer’s ice cream is ultra creamy (too creamy for me). I would have preferred a homemade vanilla gelato just like CinCin Ristorante served with their caramelized apple tarte. They should serve it with Bella Gelateria’s Fior de Latte gelato… except he doesn’t wholesale (to keep product quality).
  • It was also served with a very crunchy house made (I think) chocolate chip biscotti, but after the brownie you can’t even taste the chocolate in the biscotti.
  • This molten chocolate lava brownie was my favourite dessert of them all, it was also the sweetest and richest. It’s  funny because my 2nd favourite was actually the lightest and least sweet Ciliege Filate.


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