|Interior of the restaurant. House of the kitchen|
The main selection in the menu is 10% appetizer, 80% pastas, 10% entrees.
When the menu said smoked salmon, I automatically thought it was the thinly sliced smoked salmon. The chef of Arriva actually chose to use salmon filet. The portion of the pasta was set for an average individual, but the amount of salmon they have added was very generous; approximately 25% of the pasta dish was the smoked salmon. The pennette was cooked in a creamy vodka sauce. Please not that it is not a red sauce, even though it is indicated tomato sauce. I will consider it a more creamy rose sauce. It tasted very delicious; the sauce wasn't too thick nor too heavy, and the pasta was cooked just right. However, the smoked salmon was not flavourful enough for my taste buds. I prefer a more smoked aroma, but it was only lightly smoked.
I've had amazing risottos; I've had horrible risottos. This risotto was just good. Does not impress me, but it will not let you down. There is an option of white wine or tomato sauce. The waiter recommended the white wine sauce, which would have been my choice as well. Flavour was good, but maybe a little too strong (suggesting too much MSG?). Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed my risotto. Did I mention I love cheese?! The parmigiano cheese they usually offer with the pasta was wonderful. Even if you don’t like cheese with pasta, get some to just try on the side. As for me, I usually have my cheese on the side anyways. This is because I would like to give credit to the food before needing to add extra flavour. This risotto did not need any more cheese. Adding more cheese actually makes it more heavy, so I just ate the cheese by itself. The risotto had great taste and texture without it.
After our server had taken away our dishes, I spotted a dessert on another table that caught my attention. I thought it was a panna cotta! I was so excited; it is one of my favourite Italian desserts. When our server came back, offering us the dessert menu, I interrupted him asking him whether the other table have ordered a panna cotta. He looked very confused and started to list out the dessert they have. One of them was the crème caramel, which was what looked like a panna cotta from a far. In the end we didn’t order any desserts. I found it slightly humourous that he didn’t know what a panna cotta was, but I explained to him what it was. Hopefully this knowledge will be of good use to him for his future days of work in the restaurant industry.
Arriva Ristorante Italiano is a casual restaurant located in the heart of Vancouver’s Italian street. If you are down for some pasta with high quality of ingredients, give Arriva a visit. I definitely prefer Arriva over La Rocca, which is next door. Unlike Anton’s, which is a complete plate of carbohydrates, Arriva will provide more meat/seafood to go along with the wonderful pasta.
Location: On Commercial drive. It can be difficult to find parking. Occasionally will walk by a few homeless individual who will make random remarks.
Food: Standard pasta with high quality ingredients. Will not be disappointed.
Service: Our server was very friendly, but his knowledge of the food and restaurant was minimal.
Price: The total came to $38 with taxes. Including the entertainment coupon, total came to $21 for two people.
Will I come back? Maybe. It will be listed in the mid-rank of my list.
Arriva Ristorante Italiano
1537 Commercial Drive