One must not miss fresh handmade pasta at Ask for Luigi whenever they are in Vancouver. The desired texture in pasta cooked al dente can be found in this petite and cushy Italian restaurant on Downtown Eastside. I decided to take my mom and my brother to Ask for Luigi before they flew to Toronto so we got there at 5:20pm and shortly there was line up behind us when we got there. Good thing we were first because the dinner queue was crazy after 6pm. We had a feast at Ask for Luigi to conclude a wonderful Vancouver vacation.
My first time at Ask for Luigi was for Dine Out Vancouver 2014. I didn’t enjoy it as much that time but this time it was a complete game changer.
What’s in it: Salsa verde with mayonnaise (herbed aioli), garlic chips, rocket, Piave Vecchio and beef.
The way I ate the carpaccio was forking one slice of beef, half a piece of Piave Vecchio and a bit of rocket and herbed aioli all in one bite. The taste was fresh, exotic and exploding in all sorts of flavours. If you want to taste the meatiness in the beef, I would recommend removing the Piave Vecchio and just eating it with the other two.
The beef carpaccio is a wonderful and crisp appetizer to excite your taste buds before the main courses.
Here’s an over view of what our main courses were. The pasta at Ask for Luigi claims the spotlight.
Pappardelle and Duck Ragu
Ask for Luigi’s fresh pappardelle’s flavour and texture sets the bar quite high. The bounciness and softness in the flat shaped pasta was simply incomparable to any pasta I’ve ever had.
At first, I thought the sauce tasted like a lighter version of the bologanise sauce until I read that it was duck ragu. After a few more bites, I started realizing the immensely rich taste that duck ragu has on pasta instead of beef.
What’s in it: Spaghetti with albacore tuna and cherry tomatoes.
This was my mom’s favourite pasta. To fully enjoy this pasta, we had to eat a cherry tomato with the spaghetti and albacore tuna to neutralize the fishiness and saltiness in the fish. Eating the tuna alone with the spaghetti was a bit overwhelming but together with the tomatoes makes it a delicious, sweet, and summery dish.
Spaghetti Nero with Octopus and Jalapeno
Tossed in garlic, olive oil, hot chili flakes and jalapeno, squid ink pasta has never tasted so exquisite. The texture was slightly under cooked but the result was softer than most under cooked pasta. If you want a pasta on the hotter side, the spaghetti nero would be the perfect pick.
What’s in it: Fennel sausage, cheese and rapini tossed with tagliatelle.
Moving onto pasta with a lighter side, the tagliatelle was more herbed and meat focused. Most of the time, I couldn’t appreciate the texture of the tagliatelle but instead the spices in the fennel sauce.
The creamiest and milkiest panna cotta I have ever had. You simply cannot not order this at Ask for Luigi. When I ate it, I felt like I was eating a fresh homogenized milk pudding.
I wasn’t a fan of the biscotti but the red wine with poached prunes was a rich and royal addition to the milky dessert.
I wasn’t sure whether I was eating cake or only chocolate. The chocolate instantly melted in my mouth once I put it into my mouth and the taste was so rich. I would say that this is a luscious and light mix of chocolate cake and chocolate pudding.