Cioppinos Mediterranean Grill, Yaletown

I couldn’t escape Cioppinos. At every turn their name was seemingly featured in newspaper, website, magazine and hotel advertisements. They’ve even published their own cookbook. According to one magazine article, Cioppinos is known for it’s people watching opportunities. Tom Cruise is listed as a frequenter of the restaurant.

Cioppinos is only a block from the Opus hotel where most of our team was staying; so, it was only inevitable that we ended up here for an evening meal.

We sat by the open kitchen, which was a great opportunity to see Cioppinos’ role based cooking. Like in a play, each person has their own part in the production of a meal. There is a pasta person, a sauce person, a soup person, a desert person, etc.

In many of top restaurants around the world there is a “mash potato” person who makes potatoes by the door and adds them to the plate as it leaves the kitchen. The theory is that mashed potatoes are only good within a few minutes after making them, so they need to arrive at the customer mere moments after being made.

As expected, the food at Cioppinos was sublime. I wasn’t expecting anything less. Soup, fish, vegetables, gelato… all done very well and made gluten/dairy free. The chef, Pino Posteraro, came to our table frequently to make sure we were enjoying the food and answer any questions we had. It was a wonderful experience.

The only missing link was the gluten-free bread… quality wise it seemed out of place. This is based purely on personal conjecture; in the past year I’ve done a lot of experimenting with handmade gluten-free breads.

This is a minor thing and certainly wouldn’t keep me from going back to Cioppinos. The fact that they serve gluten free bread puts them ahead of most other restaurants.

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