Tucked away on West 16th Ave, Fiore Famiglia is on the southern border of Kitsilano, right across from the neighbouring Arbutus Ridge. The restaurant is known for the Italian-inspired dishes using fresh local ingredients, created by chef James Kidd. Handcrafted fresh pasta and thin crust pizzas are among his specialties. Matthew Landry, responsible for the wine list here, is a 2019 BC Best Sommelier and Vinitaly Italian Wine Ambassador, Valpolicella Educator and Wine Scholar Guild “Italian Wine Scholar”. He is also looking after the wine programs at the sister restaurants, Fiore South Granville and The Stable House Wine Bar, and definitely the best help you could get picking the best wine to go with the unique dishes.
I found myself sitting in the middle of the dining room, and it appeared to be even more charming than I expected as a neighbourhood eatery. The interior design is modern and tasteful, featuring the signature floral piece hanging from the centre of the ceiling. Surrounded by large beautiful trees that the area is known for, the sunny patio is going to be busy in the summer.
The cocktail menu has 3 categories – “IN THE SUNLIGHT”, “AMID THE DIN OF DUSK”, and “BY THE MOONLIGHT”, designed to be consumed before, during and after dinner respectively. The Segatore ($12), featuring Beefeater gin, lime, sugar, Angostura, Regan’s no.6, and Peychaud’s bitters, standing tall in a champagne flute, and exuberating fresh and floral quality in taste, was making me feel like being in a lovely garden enjoying the sunset. The Averna Sour ($12) is mixed with Amaro Averna, lemon, sugar, egg white, and Angostura bitters, proving that a sour made with Amaro is just as classic as a Negroni.
We were greeted by Matthew Landry, the sommelier. And he quickly looked at what we ordered for food and suggest a couple of wines. For something light to go with the appetizer or antipasti course, the Stag’s Hollow Teroldego 2016 is an excellent choice. Teroldego is a unique grape with an origin in northern Italy. Despite the ruby red colour, the taste was surprisingly bright and pleasant. The Cabernet Sauvignon Trentino DOC, is a more complex wine from Italy on the palate, although slightly on the dry side, it was smooth and well-structured.
When I was at Fiore in South Granville a couple of weeks ago, and I was told that the sister restaurant in Kits runs with a similar modern Italian concept but carries different dishes. Indeed, we discovered something unique like the Roasted Carrot Salad ($12), a reminder for everyone that carrot is such a great vegetable to be roasted. The charred and slightly caramelized carrots were incredibly flavourful, complemented by frisee, finely shaved fennel, basil pesto, toasted almond,
ricotta salata, and bloomed raisins.
The trio of main dishes provided nothing but comfort. The Funghi ($17) pizza is also quite unconventional without a lot of cheese, and it still seems pretty plentiful with ricotta, caramelized onions, pickled shimeji, and shaved Brussel sprouts on top. I also enjoyed the simplicity of the Confit Pork Cheeks ($24), served with chive polenta, roasted rapini, and romesco, in which the succulent pork cheek goes well with the luscious polenta. However, my favorite of the evening was the Pappardelle Bolognese ($23), prepared with ground pork, beef & veal, tomato, cream, chili, and pecorino, and showing both the brightness of tomato sauce and the richness of cream sauce. The texture of the pappardelle pasta was perfect, and the flavour was spot-on. I feel like I could just eat a whole bowl of this alone and I would be completely satisfied.
We finished the dinner with a sweet fix of the Zuccotto ($9), which was built with decadent hazelnut mousse and chocolate.
If you are in Kitsilano looking for a spot for drinks or dinner, but you want to stay away from the bustling West Broadway or West 4th, Fiore Famiglia is a lovely choice in the neighbourhood. It’s pretty easy for anyone to charmed by the welcoming ambiance, the great wine collection, and the casual fare with refinement. The fresh pasta is a must-try here.
2603 W 16th Ave, Vancouver, BC V6K 3C2
(604) 558-2603 or fiorerestaurants.ca
* All food and beverages tasted in this post were complimentary. Opinions are on the reviewer’s own.