Every year, food enthusiasts eagerly anticipate the announcement of the restaurants participating in the annual Dine Out Vancouver Festival in January/February and their enticing multi-course menus. Even those who don’t typically leave their home kitchens much will take a minute to look up and entertain the menus that restaurants have assembled. Dine Out was a strategic campaign designed to help restaurants during the slow months of the year. It’s proven to be a very successful campaign, as the festival prepares for its 13th year of celebrating food and community.
The festival runs for 17 days, and diners can make reservations at over 250 restaurants that offer set menus ranging from $18, $28, to $38 per person. Most restaurants will suggest wine pairings to go with each dish, and these are usually charged separately. If you are visiting from out of town, there are Dine and Stay packages that allow you to experience a full night out on the town, ensuring that you are indulging responsibly.
Frankie’s Italian Kitchen & Bar is one of the participating restaurants. A casual restaurant with a lot of class, they focus on delivering southern Italian dishes that have deep traditional family roots, while using local, sustainable, and fresh ingredients from local BC farmers and purveyors. Located adjacent to BC Place and Rogers Arena, they can cater to guests looking for something other than a pub environment before or after the game.
This week, we were invited to get a sneak peak of their $28 Dine Out menu. What makes their menu unique is that most restaurants will serve you an appetizer, an entrée, and a dessert. So if two people are dining, you’ll wind up with two desserts, which isn’t always optimal after eating 2 courses. Frankie’s doesn’t make the dessert mandatory, but instead they give you 3 solid courses, which makes this menu a really good deal. Here is what you get:
First course – choice of
Sicilian risotto balls. Mikuni wild mushrooms, grano padano parmesan, housemade aioli
Dennis’ choice – “I really enjoyed the perfectly fried balls, which packed a lot of flavour and had the right amount of cheesiness inside.”
Second course – choice of
Housemade ravioli, fresh basil, ricotta, organic tomato sauce
Dennis’ choice – “With the fresh ingredients and sharp ricotta cheese, this was like a grownup version of Chef Boyardee’s Ravioli, which was a childhood favourite of mine.”
Lobster Agnolotti (+$3) supplement
Handmade with fresh East Coast Maine lobster, rock crab, fresh pasta, lobster cream broth, roasted concerto tomato
May’s choice – “Bursting with seafood with no fillers added.”
Entrée course – choice of
Jumbo Shrimp Scampi
Lemon mascarpone cream, garlic, shallots
Seafood linguini (+$5) supplement
Half lobster, clams, mussels, fresh fish, jumbo prawns, organic tomato sauce
Dennis’ & May’s choice – “This dish was a standout and worth the extra $5 upgrade. The linguini was cooked al dente, and the dish comes loaded with a great assortment of fresh seafood.”
If you still have room for dessert
Signature Tiramisu (+$5)
We really enjoyed our dinner at Frankie’s and will definitely be back again to try more of their menu. We definitely recommend visiting them if you appreciate honest and traditional Italian food.
Dine Out Vancouver is a great time of year to go try out restaurants around town. My advice though is to not judge the restaurants too harshly during Dine Out. Most restaurants tend to focus on quantity over quality service during these few weeks, as they’re trying to usher people in and out in an efficient manner so they can turnover more business during this period. When you find a good Dine Out restaurant, be sure to visit them again outside of Dine Out to get a better representation of their food and service.
Feel free to leave a comment below and let us know where you’re planning on dining at. Happy dining!