On the first day of Cotto Enoteca lunch service, we wandered by and decided to check them out. Chef Alex Tung worked at Tapenade Bistro out in Steveston a while ago, and I loved his food there. Now at the helm of this North Burnaby Italian eatery, we were excited to try this out!
Upon being seated, we were served some crusty Italian bread with an amazing dip made with Cannellini Beans and Truffle Oil. I was really impressed with the creamy texture of the spread and the truffle aroma is unmistakable. Also on the table were two different oils, one was a parsley flavoured and the other was a chili one. No, it's not like the chili oil you'd find in Chinese restaurants, the flavour is very mild. The dip changes every so often so if you come and they don't have it, you have to go back and try it. Yes, it is that good!
From the appetizer section, we tried the Polpetti - a meatball with crispy bread crumbs on top, and served with fried pizza dough. The marinara sauce on this was just tangy enough. We found the flavour a little mild, but once we got some chili flakes to sprinkle on top, it made a world of difference.
For our next course, we tried the Pizza Carne, and boy, was it loaded with meats! Made with Two Rivers guanciale, Sloping Hill pancetta, sopressata, coppa, grana padano and san marzano tomatoes, this pie was very satisfying. The crust was amazing, a great blend of crunch and chewiness. Lots of toppings but not soggy as some Napoletana pizzas can be. And I appreciate the smaller sized slices they have here, instead leaving you to your own devices, like at Verace. Don't get me wrong, Verace's pies are good, just a little messier.
For our final dish, we elected to get the Papparadelle Carbonara, with Two Rivers guanciale, parmigiano-reggiano, pecorino Romano and roasted garlic, all topped with a 63 degree egg. Look at the perfect egg sitting here on top. And for those of you who think this is just a poached egg, it's not. The egg is cooked shell on, in a 63 degree water bath in an immersion circulator. What you see here is their half order, or lunch size. Dinner portions are larger.
It seems a shame to burst this baby, but when you mix it in with the pasta, it creates something clearly more than the sum of its parts. The textures of fresh pasta with the egg is fantastic, a must-try!
Chef Alex was nice enough to treat us to dessert. Since we didn't plan on actually having a dessert, we didn't look at the menu too carefully. Instead, we asked the general manager to pick one for us. He chose wisely and ordered us the Salted Caramel Budino. This layered dessert is really well done, with a very smooth, just a cooked pudding should be. The caramel did have a distinct saltiness to it, and the fresh whipped cream and mint was just enough to make the dish rich, but not dense. Little snaps of rosemary biscotti, perfect for dipping! Good things come out of this oven, see the wood logs on the side? The pizzas don't spend much time in here, but they turn out great - with a lightly charred crust with a bit of a chew to it.There is a good number of seats at the bar, perfect for catching some of the Olympics. The pizzas are great for sharing, and the pastas are amazing too. Also good to know is that you can order the pastas as half orders, so you don't have to overload on carbs, unless you want to! This restaurant is a welcome addition to Burnaby.
Although there are quite a few Italian restaurants in the area, the vibe at Cotto is just a bit cooler and less stuffy. And the Napoletana pizzas are amazing, they are also part of the Ocean Wise program and dedicating to serving sustainable seafood. Also worth noting is the friendliness of the servers, with several people coming by to ask us how our meals were going throughout.
- Try any dish with the 63 degree egg
- 45 seats on the patio
- Open for lunch and dinner