Now that the school year is done, we once again found ourself in search of a cure for the troubles of the dreaded “after exam syndrome”. To this day, I have yet to find a better way to remove that bitter after-taste of the exam season than to enjoy a nice italian meal. The restaurant of the night is La Terrazza, situated on the cross section of Cambie Street and Pacific Boulevard, and a fortunate night it was as Rachel and I were lucky enough to have the company of a couple friends to dine with. When I entered La Terrazza, I felt that the atmosphere was a bit overly serious, and maybe it was just me, but I thought that they were trying a little bit too hard in their decor and service to fit the “fine dining” class. But none the less I was curious to try what La Terrazza had to offer and so our quest began to get over our exams and to start the summer.
Oh the Caesar salad, I was excited to see what La Terrazza had done to this signature dish to make it their own. But to be honest I was a little disappointed to find out that other than leaving the whole lettuce intact and serving a bread stick instead of croutons, nothing was different than having a Caesar salad elsewhere. On the positive side, the salad wasn’t overly dressed and the bacon was done well. Overall, It wasn’t a bad salad, it just wasn’t very special for the calibre of the restaurant that they have advertised.
For the main course, Rachel ordered the Scallops and Prawns, while I opted for the signature La Terrazza Strozzapreti Bolognese. After hearing some good reviews of the Strozzapreti Bolognese, I decided that I wanted so see what the hype was all about. La Terrazza does keep to traditions with their Bolognese sauce as I could taste the beef flavour and the tomato paste in the the strozzapreti pasta. However if you asked me if this dish deserves the recognition, sadly, I would have to say no. Both Rachel and I thought that the dish was a little overwhelming, the sauce was just too heavy and the elements in a bolognese sauce, such as carrots or celery, were missing which would counter balance the heaviness of the sauce. Secondly the pasta was a little shy from being al dente, as some of the pasta was very hard.
Rachel’s Scallops and Prawns were…. well scallops and prawns. We didn’t think they would take such a literal concept to the plate. Much like the Ceasar salad, the Scallops and Prawns were good and executed well, on the grill, but it was lacking the character and the depth that we were expecting from a restaurant such as La Terrazza. Although the risotto was made into a cake form, we were surprise to find that the risotto was still very moist in the middle and we found it very appetizing, we only wish there was a bit more of it. Furthermore, the scallops and prawns were not overcooked and it tasted surprisingly good, but we found that this dish, as a whole, lacked the creativity and spark that the scallops and prawns deserved.
For the last course I ordered the Blackout Chocolate Terrine. Essentially the Blackout Chocolate Terrine is a layer of Chocolate terrine layered on top of a dense chocolate cake. Because of the moist nature of the chocolate terrine, the cake base on the bottom was kept moist and dense. I found this last course to be very rich, due to the double chocolate combination. However this dessert satiated my sweet tooth, that had been built up through the course of the meal. If you are a fan of chocolate this dessert would suit you very well.
Rachel ordered the La Creazione for dessert. La Creazione is a baked white chocolate cheesecake wrapped in phyllo, topped with some sour cherries. When baked the phyllo becomes very crispy, and when wrapped around the warm cheesecake, a stark contrast is created between the texture of the soft cheesecake and the crispy phyllo. To me this dish was the only part of our meal that showed creativity. I really liked the contrast in texture in La Creazione and the cherries kept the dessert from being to overbearing and rich. However both Rachel and I found the cheesecake to be lacking in flavour. If the cheesecake was a little sweeter and if it had a bit more cheese flavour, La Creazione would be a truly delightful last course.
Overall, the quality of the food at La Terrazza was not bad. The downfall of La Terrazza was their lack of creativity. For the amount of recognition they get, I would expect them to be much more imaginative and thoughtful with their dishes. Therefore, I give La Terrazza a 6.5 out of 10. Although the food wasn’t what I expected, I did leave most of my exam anxiety at the Italian restaurant. Well now you know what to do after your exams… well maybe not La Terrazza but Campagnolo doesn’t sound too bad.