- sugar cookie
A couple weekends ago my husband and I hit 5 years of marriage. Our original idea was to be in Europe to celebrate. Since covid put a wrench in our plans, we made reservations at Robba Da Matti instead.
We had walked by several times and their quaint little garden patio always looked so enticing. We decided it would be the perfect spot to commemorate the day.
When we arrived, pretty much every table was full. The patio gives off European vibes to me which made me feel a teensy bit better about not being overseas. For their version of plexi-glass dividers, they have old window panes between their seating. There are heat lamps outside and foliage everywhere. It’s so romantic.
Let’s get into the food – they start you off with some marinated olives instead of bread which I thought was cool.
For our dinner we opted to go with three dishes and share. We went with:
- Lobster and Crab Ravioli – I love, love, loved this dish – my favorite of the evening. Each ravioli was filled with lobster and crab, and then topped with fresh tomatoes, arugula and prawns. So delicious.
- Parpadelle Rosche Rosche – parpadelle with short ribs. The dish comes with italian sausages as well, but for people like me who don’t eat pork, they offered to remove or put the italian sausage on the side. The parpadelle was perfectly al dente and the ragu had a bit of a kick. This was my husband’s favorite dish of the night.
- Risotto Alla Pescatora – I love seafood and risotto so I was super excited to try this dish. It had calamari, tiger prawns, mussels and clams. It was good, but I feel like there was just so much seafood in it that we didn’t get enough of the rice/risotto part. It also had a lot of the seafood liquid in it. I know that’s an odd complaint, but I felt it wasn’t as balanced as I would have liked. It was still good, but I think next time we will opt for the mushroom risotto instead.
In our online reservation I noted that it was our anniversary. After we had been seated a while, a couple came in and they were seated next to us. We overheard them telling the server that it was their one year anniversary. The staff brought out some champagne for them. I found myself a bit bummed for a second, but when our server brought out our food my hubby mentioned that it was our anniversary too. I also piped in that we included it in our reservation so they didn’t think we were just making it up. Our server brought some champagne out for us too and that made me happy.
The service here was pretty great. We were greeted so warmly when we arrived and our server was very personable and attentive.
I will absolutely be coming back here. The food was delicious and I want to explore the menu further. The patio was just gorgeous. I highly, highly recommend Robba Da Matti.
I decided to have my birthday dinner with a small group of my best girlfriends at The Botanist located in the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel. I’d heard many good things and I was eager to try the elaborate cocktails that I had seen on social media. I was the first to arrive from my party and I was greeted by a friendly host who wished me a happy birthday, hung my coat, then handed me a card before escorting me to my table. I sat and waited for my friends and opened up the card. It was a birthday card signed by the employees. How nice! I’ve never had a restaurant do anything like this before and I loved it. I took in the atmosphere while I waited – this restaurant is beautiful. The “botanist” theme is definitely throughout the entire space with beautiful bright greenery and a floral touch. Another great feature are these stools next to the seats for your purse. I hate having to leave my purse on my lap or awkwardly having it hit my knees as its hanging from a hook at the edge of the table. It may be a minor thing, but its something that I really appreciated.
I was excited to order one the whimsical over-the-top beverages I’d seen online, but I was disappointed to learn that you could only order these drinks at the bar. Our waiter did offer for us to start our evening off at the bar and come back to the table later so I could still have one, but at this point it was 8 p.m. and I was starving. They do have a separate cocktail menu for the dining room though so I took a look and went with the “Poetry in Motion” cocktail. My friends began to arrive one at a time and our waiter was so on top of it – greeting each of them as they joined the group and taking their drink orders. He was awesome. We all got our drinks and after taking my first sip I was a happy girl. The Poetry in Motion was citrus-y, light and bubbly. I kept em coming for the rest of the night. We had different cocktail choices all around the table and not one person was unhappy with their choice. We dipped into their in house baked bread while we waited for our mains. The bread was very delightful and different. They were shaped like leaves. We received our meals and all i can say is wow. I ordered the butter poached lobster. It was described on the menu as “trumpet mushrooms, crispy risotto, lobster bisque, butter poached lobster”, but all I saw in front of me was pure art. Our server poured the bisque onto my plate and it was so visually stunning. Almost too pretty to eat. I was starving though, so I didn’t let it stop me. My first bite was heavenly. I have nothing negative to say. They knocked it out of the park. There was a hush that went over the table. That’s usually a good sign that everyone is enjoying their meals. Every one of us cleared up our plates completely. My friends all agreed that their meals were amazing and no one felt the heaviness that comes after some dinners out. We decided to order a dessert to share, but none of us were that impressed by the choices on the dessert menu. We chose an option anyhow and went with the banana mousse with candied hazelnut, milk chocolate whip, frozen latte foam and espresso reduction. Not a favorite. I think they need to update their dessert menu.
All in all it was a extraordinary night. Although prices can be thought of as high, you are getting what you pay for. Dinner exceeded my expectations and the cocktails were delicious. The ambiance is lovely and I will be coming back to try those cocktails at the bar. I can easily see how The Botanist was voted one of Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants.
Working so close to this place is both a blessing and a curse. It’s perfect for when you’re needing a delectable sweet treat and more often than not for me, it’s also the strong, relentless craving that I must give in to. The donuts here are so good . They melt in your mouth and are some of the best donuts Vancouver has to offer. Cartems offers creative flavors as well as changing “monthly specials” which in the past have included flavors such as pina colada, amaretto kiss and strawberry apple turnover. They offer gluten free, vegan options. It can be thought of as pricey for a single donut as you could get multiple donuts at the franchise competition for the same price as one – that being said, they are handmade rings of heaven.