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Had not been to Il Giardino for several years even though we live around the corner--but we made a special effort for out of town visitors last wednesday night. The restuarant was busy, it being christmas time, but we were reserved for a nine o:clock sitting so the early dinner crowd had thinned. The atmosphere was as wonderful as its always been, and the hostess was spot on. Unfortunately, our waiter let the place down. Our appetizers and salads arrived before he had manged to remember our bottle of wine. When that bottle was depleted, he was nowhere to be seen to provide a second one for our table of four, and the moment was lost. When we finished our dinner plates they sat empty in front of us for a full fifeteen minutes, without his attention. In desperation I finally gathered up all the plates in one big pile in front of me in hopes this might get our waiter's attention. It didn't. Despite only three competing tables left in his section, I could not see him on the floor anywhere. After five minutes more without help, I finally picked up the stack of plates and walked them over to an empty table. That did finally get the staff's attention, and while our waiter realized he had lost it by that point,and apologized profusely, it was a bit late in the day given the other failures. That said, the food was good, the wine list was excellent, if you can get it served on time, and the atmosphere was wonderful. We left a 10% tip on the strength of these plus's but we would not go back given the lack of service.
Restaurant magnate Umberto Menghi started a small restaurant, tucked away in a yellow heritage house at the bottom of Hornby Street, nearly 4 decades ago. It still serves some of the best Italian fare, and has one of the prettiest garden patios in town. This larger restaurant now adjoins Umberto's in the original house. The bright, spacious dining room re-creates the ambience of an Italian... more
Umberto’s flagship room still has the power to seduce. Like a vintage Barolo, age favours this charmingly careworn room, softening its edges and enhancing its allure. Corporate power players court business at lunch while dinner sees well-heeled men woo Manolo-heeled women over candlelight and Chianti. Recent renovations to the expansive courtyard patio have diminished none of its magic. It’s... more
Llke many other reviewers have already stated, this has been our choice restaurant for special occasions, and a just plain treat. It is without doubt the most charming in Vancouver, for those of us who enjoy an intimate atmosphere along with wonderful food. The one draw back is the restaurant's extreme popularity for parties, which makes it very noisy upon... more
What a place - this was the last night of our honeymoon in Vancouver, and we had such a great time. The staff was amazing, the hostess interrupted dinner to sing opera for a local chef celebrity and overall just felt very old school Italian. The food was incredible, we had risotto and sea bass, some of the best carpaccio... more
II Giardino is a legendary landmark and a great Italian joint in the truest sense. I had the pleasure of dining here over the years. It was one of those charming places to see and be seen at. If the walls could talk in this place they would have a few stories to tell, no doubt.
They have courtyard seating,... more
Very good food & service in a pleasant upscale atmosphere. Would definitely dine there again.
This downtown Italian eatery offers an impressive Tuscan-style decor, outstanding service, and an excellent menu that features game and pasta. Roasted reindeer loin with port peppercorn sauce, tender veal with lightly grilled wild mushrooms, and osso buco with saffron risotto are indicative of the superb offerings presented here.
Umberto Menghi, a well-known local chef and personality, enjoys a regular clientele that ranges from movie stars to social luminaries. They come for the eatery\'s Italian \'nuova\' sophistication and award-winning Tiramisu. The Tuscan villa-themed dining room has high ceilings, tiled floors, and walls of burnt sienna. The vine-covered garden patio is an ideal spot to impress a date. The kitchen... more