gracecheung604 | write on time: La Pentola - tongue, marrow and more

Friday, October 12, 2012

La Pentola - tongue, marrow and more

At the old location of 100 Days at the Opus Hotel in Yaletown, the new La Pentola has opened up. Having delighted Vancouverites at their other location, La Quercia in Kitsilano, they are now bringing their "nose to tail" dining concept to downtown Vancouver. Bread and Wine
The first thing you notice when you want into the space is how different it is from 100 Days (or 100 Nights). The feel has completely changed and it is now a classier space, with real napkins, real chairs and real tables. The space before was far more casual, and seemed more like an organized chaos. Once seated, we got some fresh crusty bread to start, slightly warm and accompanied by a rather large plate of olive oil. 
Veal Tongue 2
For our first course, we decided to try the Veal Tongue, described to us in great detail by the waiter. Since I've always enjoyed Ox Tongue, the kind you get at HK-style cafe where it's baked with spaghetti, we decided to give it a go.He said that it would be a light starter and that's exactly what it was, a dozen thinly slices of veal tongue, slightly smoked and topped with a red salsa. This was very delicate and the texture was very tender, both due to the cut of meat as well as the thinness of the slices. I found the salsa a bit overpowering and didn't really use it after the first few bites.  Bone Marrow The other appetizer was the Bone Marrow. Instead of just roasting the marrow as is, it seems like they actually removed all the marrow from the bone, mixed it with some seasonings, onion and herbs and then returned it back into the bone, where it was roasted and broiled. There was just so much flavour in the marrow itself and the texture was leaner than I've had in some time. This dish was served with a green salsa, and again, it didn't add anything to the dish for me. The crispy crostini gave a nice textural contrast to the smooth marrow, which worked out really well. My only wish was that they didn't oil the crostini as heavily as they did, because it made for a much greasier than needed dish. I ended up using the bread from the beginning of the meal instead.
Pappardelle with Lamb 2
This was the Pasta Special of the Day, their Pappardelle with Lamb. The pastas are all made fresh in-house daily and you just can't beat fresh pasta. The wide flat noodles were coated in a lamb ragu that tasted like it had been simmered for hours. The addition of the cannellini beans gave the dish a Tuscan flare. I also liked the rippled edges of the pasta, very delicate.
Lamb Shoulder 2
The other dish was the Lamb Shoulder, done sous vide style. I was less impressed with this since the meat was very weird in texture, almost mushy. I know it is the nature of the cooking process, but I think lamb is best grilled or roasted. It seems to bring out the flavours of the meat a bit more. I do like that they did grilled the top, so there was a bit of a crust to the meat. The kale on the bottom was a good touch, giving the juices somewhere to go. This had more flavour than the lamb itself. And yes, that is a piece of anchovy on the top, so if you're a fan, slice it up and use it to add more of a savoury flavour to the lamb, and if not, you can easily remove it and ignore it completely.

Take Note:

  • Breakfast is served starting at 7am
  • Pastas are not pricey, $12 or $13 at dinner
  • Very knowledgeable wait staff 

La Pentola della Quercia on Urbanspoon

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