Trattoria Italian Kitchen

Restaurant: Trattoria Italian Kitchen
Cuisine: Italian
Last visited: October 13, 2010
Location: Vancouver, BC (Kitsilano)
Address: 1850 W 4th Ave
Price Range: $10-20

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

Food: 4.5
Service: n/a
Ambiance: 4.5
Overall: 4.5
Additional comments:

  • A Glowbal Group restaurant
  • Innovative Italian cuisine
  • “Americanized” Italian
  • Some traditional Italian dishes
  • Local favourite
  • Popular/always busy for lunch & dinner
  • Made upon order
  • Great for sharing
  • Affordable
  • Open kitchen
  • Casual & contemporary dining
  • Posh and energetic atmosphere
  • House made desserts
  • Cocktails/Wine bar
  • Ocean Wise
  • Street parking


  • Monday thru Thursday 11:30am – 1:00am (Lunch and Dinner)
  • Fri: 11:30am – 2am (Lunch and Dinner)
  • Sat: 10:30am – 2am (Brunch and Dinner)
  • Sun: 10:30am – 1am (Brunch and Dinner)

**Recommendations: Burrata Prosciutto, Bruschetta Sampler, Linguine Gamberini, Garganelli, side of Brussels sprouts and the side of risotto is good if the right person is making it and at a slow hour. You can also request a side of gnocchi pesto which is good, but a whole plate is too much. If you like bread the Panzanella salad is good and the shared platters are generally good and perfect for small groups. Pizza is popular too. Most popular and it’s good is the Tiramisu for dessert.

So you can tell by my long list of recommendations that I’m a fan of a Trattoria, therefore my rating is based on my collective experiences. Trattoria offers inventive Italian dining and I wouldn’t call it authentic or traditional Italian. It’s not exactly Americanized Italian food, but it is a contemporary take on it, but at least they do a good job with it. I love how they have shared platters too because I like trying everything. It’s a popular local favourite and it’s the busiest restaurant on the block, although Romer’s Burger Bar across the street is starting to look equally as busy, but with a different crowd.

When you hear “Glowbal Group Restaurant” you either get excited or roll your eyes. I’m indifferent, either the food is good or it’s not. It’s unfair to judge them collectively since each restaurant is its own identity, although a lot of them come off as “eat to be seen” kind of places. You can definitely tell when it’s a “Glowbal Group restaurant” and you have to give it to them when it comes to ambiance and restaurant design. The food at Trattoria generally does stand up to the posh and trendy atmosphere.

I’ve been to all the other Glowbal Groups restaurants such as Society, Coast, Glowbal, and Sanafir and the only one I haven’t tried is Italian Kitchen. I have to say that out of all of them Trattoria is overall my favourite because it’s the best in terms of food and value. I’ve experienced more hits than misses from what I’ve tried and it’s the only one that’s outside of downtown so the parking is easier and the atmosphere isn’t as pretentious.

Note: I can’t rate the service because I’ve been here more than a few times so they kind of know me. They don’t know I blog though… at least I don’t think they do. Also I haven’t tried every item at every Glowbal Group restaurant, but it’s how I more or less feel.

On the table:

**Burrata Prosciutto – 6/6

  • Burrata prosciutto di parma, olive oil, sea salt $14
  • I’m not a huge meat and cheese person just because I find it’s too easy that I could make it myself… but this one was seriously amazing!
  • Our server recommended it without hesitation as the best appetizer to start off with so how could I resist? It was awesome!!
  • See my recipe for how to replicate this at home here.

  • It was 9 pieces of prosciutto (3 pieces under the bread) and it was delicious!
  • The prosciutto wasn’t as meaty tasting as say the one from Q4 and it was saltier than I anticipated because of the added sea salt which I could have done without. Prosciutto di Parma is usually more mild, sweeter and less salty, but this one was actually quite salty. It was sliced very thin so it almost melts in your mouth.
  • The “Burrata” or buttered cheese was delicious! It’s a fresh cheese made from mozzarella and cream. It looked like a poached egg and it was my first time trying it. I usually like salty cheeses, but this one was so good! It was mild and incredibly soft and the texture of creamy poached egg whites. It was slightly stringy, but not melted and it’s almost like buffalo mozzarella but much softer! It was so creamy but the flavour is so light that it doesn’t feel heavy and they drizzle it with a super fruity olive oil for more intense flavour.
  • The olive oil and burrata was such a highlight for this appetizer!

  • The bread is made in house and it’s a cross between flat bread and focaccia. They used lots of coarse salt and fresh Rosemary so the flavour is great and it’s nice and crispy right from the oven.
  • It’s excellent with the cheese and prosciutto and you get the creaminess of the cheese, salty bite of prosciutto, woody Rosemary, and fruit olive oil that combines it all together.

Signature Pasta Platter (Minimum 2 persons) – 4/6

  • Linguine gamberini, garganelli pollo, paesani bolognese, gnocchi aglio e olio $17/person
  • I’m a big fan of platters and sharing because I like variety. However, I could do without 2 of the pastas and from left to right I found it got progressively more bland.
  • Also the noodles are all overcooked. In Italy, Italians cook noodles 6.5 minutes… I used to live with some. There was so much more ingredients than noodles too and they’re all very saucy (besides the gnocchi) which makes it not authentic, but still good!
  • This platter is pretty much $34 so you may want to consider ordering the 2 best pastas on the menu and share those.

**Linguine Gamberini – 5/6

  • Jumbo tiger prawns, capers, olives, oregano roasted tomato aglio olio (a la carte $15)
  • This was hands down the best one and it had the most flavour and intense ingredients. I would order this alone.
  • It’s for olive lovers! It was loaded with tons of nice salty olive halves and some capers yet it wasn’t overly salty. It was so juicy and flavourful and with the burst of juicy tangy roasted tomatoes it was a great combination. I just wish the tomatoes were a bit charred for more flavour.
  • The prawns were huge and they were so crunchy and juicy. Cooked perfectly.

**Garganelli – 4/6

  • Herb roasted chicken, sun-dried tomato, peas, roasted chicken broth (a la carte $15)
  • The roast chicken is dark meat so it’s going to be naturally flavourful already. I couldn’t taste much sauce but just a lot of chicken, which didn’t bother me. The sauce seemed more like the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes rather than chicken broth. It’s quite oily.
  • It was loaded with tons of sun-dried tomatoes and I had 2 long pieces in every single bite. It was nice and salty and tangy and where most the flavour predominantly came from.
  • It didn’t need to be spicy, but I just thought it needed more spice or even just more garlic. I enjoyed the spicy chicken Spaghetti Quattro from Q4 better. I rated it the same as this, but Q4 is fine dining so expectations are higher since you’re also paying more as well.

Paesani Bolognese – 3.5/6

  • Anna’s classic family recipe (a la carte $12)
  • The meat sauce is a classic bolgonese and quite standard in flavour, except they use the same Kobe beef meat they used for their famous Kobe beef meatballs. (FYI the best Kobe meatballs come from the Glowbal Kitchen in Yaletown because I think they make them there and then they go out to their other restaurants).
  • The beef was super tender and there was lots of it! There was lots of sauce in general, but I expected it to be more flavourful. It needed salt and black pepper.
  • The noodles were most overcooked in this one, perhaps because they were so thin.
  • I really wish they used some freshly chopped basil in this. Instead of basil they used ‘cost-affective’ spinach which sacrificed the flavour and made it less Italian. I just wanted to see some fresh greens being used. There was some chopped Italian parsley, but basil would have done it… and salt and pepper.

Gnocchi Aglio E Olio – 2/6

  • Garlic, peperoncino, olive oil (a la carte $12)
  • If I ordered it a la carte I’d be pretty disappointed, so luckily this was a small portion. “Aglio E Olio”. Garlic and olive oil. But where is it?
  • It needs way more garlic and perperoncino. It was barely even spicy with only a pinch of peperoncino flakes. The garlic and peperoncino flavours didn’t absorb into the olive oil at all.
  • The olive oil also wasn’t very flavourful and they should have drizzled some of that super fruity olive oil they used on the appetizer before serving this.
  • The gnocchi wasn’t fluffy, but it was more doughy and it was missing the fork ridges so it didn’t hold onto any olive oil sauce, or any sauce for that matter.
  • I could have used some crispy sage or oregano leaves and lots more freshly baked Parmesan cheese because it was bland.
  • The only flavour I got was the crispy exterior the gnocchi had. That gave it a slight nuttiness, but I still wanted lots more of everything.


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  • Bow says:

    Great looking pics even though the pasta was overcooked. I must say the Burrata Proscuitto is a carnivore’s delight…very nice. Gnocchi done right is wonderful, I find if I let the gnocchi “rest” it firms up nicely; I prefer that to fluffy, but that’s just me. Where’s the dessert?

  • Victoria says:

    I love just going to Trattoria for a glass of wine and one of the share platters – like the Antipasto Platter. Mmmmm

  • Nate says:

    Trat on 4th is definitely my favorite Global Group restaurant. Good food, good wine, and a chill fun atmosphere.
    I had the “Signature Pasta Platter” last Sunday and I 100% agree with your take on the dish. . . Good, but not great!

  • Mijune says:

    @Bow – man you know me all too well!!! Dessert was TCBY at the theatre 🙂 I do like the Tiramisu here though. You’re definitely right about the gnocchi thing though… yeah I think I just prefer the pillowy texture. I will still eat them firm though…as long as it’s not doughy.

    @Victoria – Oh I’ve never had that yet! I love Antipasto too!

    @Nate – Thanks for the comment! Yeah the ambiance is pretty perfect here. Was the room still really hot though?

  • Mijon says:

    I realllllly want to try the Burrata now

  • Sherman says:

    Despite what others *cough* Kim *cough* think of the Glowbal Group, I believe that Trattoria is a good value for what you get. Sure, there is better Italian in town, for much more. It’s good for groups or the occasional random dinner. For some odd reason, the gnocchi at all Glowbal restaurants are not really all that good are they? I’m awaiting Kim to now trash me… 🙂

  • KimHo says:

    I was wondering why my ears were burning… 😛 You b@$7@rd!

    Anyway, just go to Q4 on a Monday/Tuesday…

  • Mau says:

    I hate most of the Glowbal Group restaurants with a passion…Sanafir especially…but gotta admit that Trattoria is by far their best one (mind you I haven’t tried Social). Italian Kitchen is not bad either, a bit more expensive than Trattoria but it also has some of the platters so it makes for a good thing if you want to try things slightly more “fancy”. One issues with these restaurants is consistency…last time I went to the Trattoria we ordered the same pasta platter and the gnocchi was probably their best “pasta” of the four…so I think a lot of depends on who makes it (as you pointed it out)…I hope the Glowbal group uses this restaurant as a model for future ones (and then closes the rest 😛 )…

  • Mijune says:

    @mijon – come home! I’ll bring u. The cheese is worth it.

    @sherman – Society gnocchi was the worst, but generally yes I think they are using the same recipe. I agree with you just like we agree on the buttery yummy burger bun on that pork loin sandwich at the street food Foodbuzz festival. (Kim must be boiling) 😉

    @KimHo – I’m REALLY surprised YOU suggested Q4.

    @Mau – I think you meant Society instead of Social? Unless they’ve changed significantly since the last time I’ve been… I’d say save your money. You make a great point about consistency… because I feel that way about their risotto. Always depends on who makes it. Glad to hear we agree on Trattoria being the best one! Thanks for commenting!

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