Wine & Dine: Five for under Five at Crowbar by Tonino Patane

Crowbar on Kingsway (key to East Vancouver) will provide an eclectic dining experience with its atmosphere and ‘living menu’, called such because it’s always changing. My vegan friend and myself, (aka “The Omnivore”) made a point of checking it out. We felt right at home in this Westcoast cozy and intimate locale. At first glance we were captivated by the unique interior design style—soft lighting, rustic, with mix of industrial architecture.

The service was outstanding due in part to the kitchen. It was running perfectly on time at nine minutes per order, even at full capacity. Fantastic! We finished one dish after another, each one getting better and better.

We started with the Grilled Carrots—who would have thought glazed carrots could taste so good? Tender carrots cut lengthwise in to four pieces smothered and bathed in a banga cauda (a northern Italian “hot bath” of light, creamy garlic sauce) topped with a crunchy roasted almond sprinkle. A sweet and savory juxtaposition of flavours, coupled with a lovely pairing of textures. Crunch through the nutty sprinkle and seared carrot crust, and let it give way to a soft, tender center. The sweetness of the carrot will hit your taste buds first, then, like a French kiss, the wet gravy smothers your tongue with a yummy garlic aftertaste.

Vegan friends will enjoy the Zucchini Aglio e Olio, lightly sautéed and drenched in a classic Italian dressing. The aroma of garlic will hit your nose first and give you a good indication of what to expect—light and squishy goodness.

Want a meal that will satiate that after-work appetite? Definitely go for the smoky oak, creamy Mushroom Linguini done in a light olive oil. It will slide past your palette, followed by a snappy sharp smoked parmesan cheese aftertaste… as rich as the former Italian prime minister, but not at all shady. The noodles were done al dente. The texture is so right you’ll want to experience it again and again. Friday after-work beer with friends? Order a couple of Good Company Lagers—light, refreshing, and a good pairing with just about anything on the Five Under Five menu. In fact, Crowbar it is a culinary experience that will not only melt in your mouth, but melt your face off, too. It’s that good (and I’m Italian).

Crowbar – 646 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC V5T 3K4

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