Dine Out Vancouver WEEK 2: Cin Cin’s

We had a reservation at CinCin’s  on Saturday evening for 5:30PM. We made the reservation two weeks in advance and it was the only time they could fit us in. It is the kind of restaurant that fills up fast, especially for dine out when the price of an appetizer, a main, and a dessert is the same price as one of their regular entrees!

20 minutes before we had to leave to go to the restaurant, we looked up the dine out menu online, and it really didn’t look that appetizing to either my girlfriend or I. In fact, we thought it looked pretty gross (compared to all the other amazing ones we’d been looking at)! We considered just cancelling the resso, but I would have felt really bad because they called to confirm the day before and I said yes. And honestly, I really wanted to see what all the hype was about. Why would people want to go spend 500 dollars on a dinner for two anyway?!

DINE OUT DINNER MENU

Cin Cin’s Ristorante + Bar

Neighborhood: Robson StreetCuisine ‘
Type: ItalianDinner
Menu Price: $38
Gluten-Free Menu Option: Yes

APPETIZER

* Yellow split pea soup simmered with smoked ham hockor
* Salad of Albacore tuna and la ratte potatoes / red and green chicory, curly endive, olive oil and lemonor
* Salad of salt baked heirloom beets with goat cheese, buckwheat, navel orange and watercress

ENTREE

* Pork loin cooked on the rotisserie – soft polenta, sweet and sour braised red cabbage – apple mustard
*Arctic Char in crazy water – chickpeas, chili, spinach and piquillo peppers, extra virgin olive oil and fresh herbsor
*Fresh rigatoni pasta with spicy chorizo sausage sauce, rosemary, chili and Parmesan

DESSERT

*Tiramisu with ladies fingers soaked in espresso and kahlua, mascarpone mousseor
*Milk chocolate mousse with dark chocolate crumble, blood orange sorbet and caramel sauceor
*Vanilla panna cotta with toasted coconut, lemon curd and almond cake

Beverages, tax and gratuity are extra.

Upon  arrival we were greeted promptly and asked if we would like our jackets put into coat check.

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We were then tucked away in a cozy corner table near the kitchen.

Our main server was lovely, a little plain Jane, but still letting some personality shine through. There were so many front end staff. They seemed to be everywhere, almost out numbering the guests.And the front staff were almost all dudes! From what I saw about 8:1 totally male-dominated! However, I was happy to see three women and three men in the kitchen cheffing it up!

We were given a plate of bread with two varieties served with green olive tapenade.

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CinCin’s Complimentary Bread…

I gobbled that up pretty quickly, and to my surprise a waiter came promptly and replaced it with ANOTHER full plate. Oh no, I thought, this could be dangerous, all you can eat bread?! I could eat A LOT of bread, but I held back, I needed room to try everything.

The portions were actually perfect, not too tiny, but always leaving you wanting a little bit more.

I’m not a big fan of soup, personally, I think I was given teeth for a reason, so I’d rather chew my food…(I’ll eat soup when I’m old). Beets, I don’t really like, so the first option was a no brainer- go for the tuna.

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Tuna Bruschetta

I was delighted to find out the dine out menu had been altered a little from the one that I had found online. Instead of a tuna salad it was tuna bruschetta, and the bread was wood fire smoked, with beans and deliciously seasoned Albacore tuna.  The smokeynss of the bread made for an exquisite dish. My girlfriend and I both agreed we would have been satisfied with a couple more plates of the tuna and nothing else. But, the mains proved to be equally flavourful and thoughtfully constructed.

Cincin’s wine list is GIGANTIC!! Although, most of the wines are ridiculously over priced: many of the bottles you can find at the BC liquor store for $10-20 have been marked up to $40 or $50 or more. But, they do have A LOT of options, pages and pages, almost like a little wine encyclopedia. The wines range from $30-$800 per bottle and they come from all over the world in all grape varieties. I found all of the options a little overwhelming, so we decided to stick to cocktails. The Westender, and a Singapore Sling. Both nicely presented, cool, tangy and refreshing.

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Singapore Sling
IMG_9392
The West Ender

However, I got so excited about the tuna appetizer that I kicked the bottom of the table and sloshed the dark blueberry West Ender all over the white table cloth, I’m just that classy 😛 the waiter gave me quite the look.

The restaurant itself is quite elegant, although in my taste, it definitely lacks colour, whoever made up that ‘fancy’ should be all white and black and boring shades of brown and grey should’ve had their eyes checked. Seriously! I think a fine dining restaurant with bright purple and yellow table cloths would be much more enticing. However, I did enjoy watching the chefs at work in CinCin’s big open kitchen. Like artists perfecting each dish painting their creations with personality and beauty.

I do appreciate good-looking food: well-presented, fun to look at, contrasting shapes, colours, and textures. But I tend to order the most bland looking dishes: a.k.a. Pasta! It just tastes so darn good.

Here’s the dish my girlfriend ordered:

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Pork Tenderloin

This is what I call art on a plate! How pretty does it look?! This was a perfectly balanced dish. The Polenta was soft and creamy, the pork juicy and bursting with flavour and the cabbage subtle, sweet, and acidic.

Here’s the dish I ordered:

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Chorizo Pasta

This one, definitely does not look as appetizing, but it tasted heavenly. The sauce was creamy and spicy, and the rigatoni perfectly al dante: chewy and tender with freshly grated parmesan on top. The chorizo meat sauce was bold with flavour and heat that crept from the lips to the tongue to the throat to simmer softly.

The dessert option was also an easy choice for us both. Because… Lady fingers, really? There so soggy! And who likes Pana Cotta, that stuff jiggles like cellulite, and it never tastes quite right! Chocolate mousse, on the other hand, is always a winner!

IMG_9401
CinCin’s Chocolate Mousse

And the caramel sauce and tangy blood orange sorbet balanced the dish wonderfully.

So…Would I do it all again?

Definitely.

Could I afford it?

Definitely Not.

The regular menu is like MONEY MONEY MONEY, give me all your money, and I’ll give you a few bites…

Dine Out was my chance to see what the hype was all about, and I get it. The food is really delicious and artistic. The restaurant is beautiful, and the staff are all well-trained and quite charming. But, do I think you’re missing out if you don’t go… No. You can find italian cuisine that tastes just as good for a lot less. Sure you pay for the atmosphere and the choices and the service, but I’d rather go somewhere a little funkier with a little more FLAVOUR for the eyeballs! If you know what I mean?!

Can someone please just create a fine -dining glittery rainbow restaurant already? Because that would be awesome, and also soooo GAY, in the best way!

Xx

HJL

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