Super Luigi

You know I’m not one for apologies. Same goes for helping you move, sleeping in a tent, wearing “flats”, and playing a team sport of any kind.  But I love you so much, my loyal little readers, that I say a very solemn and heartfelt I’m sorry for slacking on this here blog for as long as I have. The truth is, it’s the middle of our two month summer here in Vancouver and it’s too bloody hot to do much else but slug pinot grigio from the couch in front of a fan. The other truth is I’ve fallen in a bit of a love fog with a tall blonde drink of water and most days are spent avoiding a rather lengthy and still-growing to-do list. What can I say?  Life is short, and procrastination and me go hand in hand like Mario and Luigi.

Which leads me to my next bout of rambling: So I’ve found a new restaurant, and yes, it’s here in Vancouver where most of you don’t live. But I’ve fallen kinda hard for this one, and I’d like to profess my affection for him as publicly as I can. Ask For Luigi is not the type of slick Italian restaurant your grandfather makes his mob deals in (all of our grandpas are in the mob, right?  Right, guys?), but instead prides itself on being a friendly, casual, neighbourly joint where you can sip your wine out of a little tumbler and kick your feet back and relax. You know me– I love fancy. But I love a place where you can laugh loudly and get spaghetti sauce on your shirt and  no one looks at you funny. Also, like all Italian restaurants should, they serve a lovely little apertivo cocktail called The Spritz you should most definitely shove down your gullet to start the evening, and a nifty little wine board displaying which wines are on tap and which bottles are open. All bottles are opened on a two glass minimum ordering system, meaning when a fresh bottle is opened, a little bell dings and a new wine goes up on the board. It’s just like Super Mario if those little gold coins were fermented grapes!  Imagine how hammered he would be!  They’ve also got lotsa grappa so you can class it up in the end and digest all the delicious morsels you wolfed down, which I will entice you with below:

beef carpaccio with grated parmigiano reggiano, aioli and garlic chips
beef carpaccio with grated parmigiano reggiano, aioli and garlic chips
saucy meatballs and house-made bread toasted and slathered in olive oil (marry me)
saucy meatballs and house-made bread toasted and slathered in olive oil (marry me)
olive oil cake atop candied orange and topped with mascarpone whipped cream
olive oil cake atop candied orange and topped with mascarpone whipped cream
classic chocolate budino- dense as my brother and served with crushed nuts on the side and whipped cream
classic chocolate budino- dense as my brother and served with crushed nuts on the side and whipped cream


Don’t miss the ricotta ravioli served with sweet peas in a rosy sauce and if they have the chicken liver pappardelle please order that or I will never speak to you again. I know Mario usually gets all the credit, but I’d rather Luigi show up to save my ass in that castle’s dungeon any day.


14 Comments Add yours

  1. Ray Pennisi says:

    We have a wonderful new Italian restaurant in my neighborhood that I bet you would like. It’s called Piacere Mio and it’s in the South Park neighborhood of San Diego (so you can easily get to it when you want to get away from Comic-Con). Also, I swear I’m not an owner, but the owners are two really nice guys from Italy.

  2. Jon says:

    My measure for a really good Italian restaurant has always been whether or not they had Linguine alla Carbonara on the menu, and whether or not they did the dish correctly. By correctly, I do not mean by substituting the sauce with a meatless stroganoff sauce instead of using real eggs in the recipe, much to my consternation that one time in upstate New York.

    I really wish I could remember the restaurant I went to in Vancouver that served a really good linguine to me… it was out in the suburbs to the Southeast somewhere, but to this day I have no idea where it actually was.

    That being said, the beef carpaccio and the saucy meatballs I see above are absolutely mouth-watering!

  3. CyndeeAnne says:

    I love your HappyOpu! blog. 🙂 I don’t have much luck with delicious, high calorie gourmet food: i Love it but it goes directly to girl fat. 🙁 How do you manage to eat, you claim voluminously, while remaining so petite? I work out two hours a day, six days a week but can’t eat the sorts of wonderful stuff you rave about.

  4. Linda says:

    We’re here when ever you decide to post. I’ve never been to Vancouver but one day hope to visit. Having this blog will be extremely helpful when looking for a place to eat 🙂 Have fun with your pinot grigio in front of a fan and that tall blonde drink of water 😀

  5. Rob Smith says:

    Great! Now I’m craving Italian, and all we have here is the Olive Garden and Carrabas. : (

  6. Peregrine John says:

    As if I needed more reasons to return to Vancouver. Here, 1000+ miles south, we have the heat sans humidity, but when the sky turns cooler and the trees turn colors, maybe I’ll have to go see those straits and islands again.

    And meet Luigi, of course.

  7. Mendel says:

    as far as i’m concerned, you can post as little or as often as you like and about whatever you want. i’ll still read it because you’re awesome, celebrity or not.

    and i may visit your side soon in any case. I used to live in Oregon and have many friends and excuses to hit up that area as well as Washington, so Vancouver isn’t much of a stretch. and Women’s World Cup! Whooooo! may take a trip for that, finding good places to eat and beer will be a must. 🙂

  8. Kerim says:

    I am suffering an Italian food fetish this week and you have left me a dazed and drooling pasta junkie. Dammit. Apology accepted….

  9. Nathaniel says:

    Hey glad to see your back! We all missed you
    (You know despite following you on twitter and Instagram)
    Was running out temptation to break me out of my diet !

  10. David says:

    Shhhhhhhhh… you had me at “beef carpaccio”.

  11. Mike says:

    I shouldn’t have followed your link here. suffering is soon to visit me once again, unable to say no to food like that. also – I like the way you write, it makes me think I can hear you talking. really neat.

    dire pane al pane e vino al vino

  12. Emilija says:

    I love, love, love Ask for Luigi. Gawd. I have to go tonight now.

  13. Jon J says:

    I walked past there last week en route from the Alibi Room (full) to Postmark (also full as it turned out) and the place was packed mid-week at 9pm… windows thrown open to the street, excited conversations spilling out as we walked past. Looked great – it’s definitely on my todo list.

    And if you haven’t ventured a block further east to Postmark yet, I’d recommend it. Nice food, brewed-on-site beers (the raspberry lemon zest hefeweizen is especially interesting) and lots of local wines… all wrapped up into one experience.

  14. You’re still a lovely woman like Jennifer Keller in Stargate Atlantis film. I just finished 5 season this morning. It’s great! 😀

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