Portofino’s Restaurant and The Library Bar Wellington

Well, these two weren’t on my list but I managed to visit them both anyway!

My mate Ty from uni invited me out for dinner and he chose Portofino’s – who was I to argue?! I love Italian!

I felt bad as I was 5 mins late (got carried away after I found sale flights to Singapore) however I needn’t have as Ty was about 20mins late! Lucky I had the big, beautiful, resident boat, The World to stare at while I waited.

We started with an antipasti platter, I had the house red and Ty a toblerone cocktail. I feel rude not drinking wine with Italian although the cocktail list was tempting. The platter was nice, especially the feta. Probably wouldn’t go to town raving about it but it was nice and good value.

For a main I had the spaghetti marinara with a salsa sauce. It was great, there were lots of fresh mussels in their shell and all throughout the pasta there was baby mussels, calamari and shrimp which places often skimp out on. The sauce wasn’t too heavy, it was lovely. Tyronne had the seafood risotto, which was quite similar to mine but with risotto instead of spaghetti I would say. Both were beautifully presented and the service was lovely. We did get kicked out however after our meals were cleared as they wanted to shut.

We went for a walk along the water and checked out the cruise ship some more. Spectacular. I wish they would have taken me with them.

We ended up cruising along Courtney Place. Ty was keen to kick on but I was pretty tired and not feeling too adventurous (unlike me, right?!) so we decided to head to The Library Bar for a drink. I’d been there briefly before when waiting to get in Chow. What an awesome venue! My photos don’t do anything for it but it has a great vibe. Cosy, dim lit atmosphere with live music and filled with ‘hipster’ types and a rockin’ cocktail list. They had two for one dessert but I was super full.

I had a lovely cocktail – pomegranate, vodka, mint and soda but Ty had the best one! I can’t remember what it was called but it was in a martini glass and second from the bottom on the list of House Cocktails. Delicious.

I’d walked past this place on Tory Street a few times called Checkmate and we decided to see what it was. I had presumed it was a bar/lounge… wrong. So wrong! It is actually a Sauna for gay men. They sell also sorts of ‘enhancers’ and I had a humorous chat with the bloke behind a plastic window in the wall. Now I know…20140423-150544.jpg20140423-150621.jpg20140423-150653.jpg20140423-150640.jpg

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Portofino on Urbanspoon

Hidden Italian West End Gem

I can’t praise this place enough.

After a huge day moving we decided we were craving Italian. While West End, Vancouver has so many restaurants we hadn’t noticed Italian so headed to Urbanspoon to find one.

Adesso was down Haro, off Denman. We thought we were heading the wrong way until we found a gorgeous little outdoor patio area which was part of the restaurant. It’s unusual for a licensed venue to be in a residential area and they are lucky to have a clause to get them around it.

There is a great ambience, both outside and inside. Inside is decadent, a great place for a date or special dinner. Outside is more casual but still fine dining. We chose outside to enjoy the long daylight hours. Plus it was super cute with the hanging flower baskets and fairy lights.

Our server was very informative and passionate about the food. When we quizzed her as to whether we should get the bruschetta she immediately said no as we get complimentary focaccia and oils to start. She suggested the mushroom pizza, however we went for the margherita and the mussels in white wine and garlic.

The pizza was delicious, fresh and cheesy. The mussels – wow. The broth was amazing and they were cooked to perfection. We couldn’t get enough. Even though I said I’d have no more bread I couldn’t help but have some more with the broth.

I couldn’t decide on a main and asked for suggestions. Our server again was great, full of suggestions and knowledge. I went for the Taglietele Nera – black squid pasta with local ingredients. It was amazing. I ate it all even though I was full.

Susan really enjoyed her pasta as well. She had the clam with fettuccine, she also wanted to unbutton her pants – full to the brim! Or pants hem in this case.

We washed it all down with a carafe of red wine. We started with a glass each, I had prosecco and Susan, the red. We liked hers so much we ordered more.

When I quizzed about whether they had a twitter handle they bought out a card with all their social media links on it. Being from the digital industry I was very impressed and quick to tweet (and now blog) my praise.

A fantastic evening at an amazing restaurant. I will be back soon.

 


Adesso Bistro on Urbanspoon

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