lapentola

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La Pentola’s Whole Roasted Branzino

Winter leaves us hollow and empty, and craving something warm and rich to fill the void. In contrast, after a hot summer’s day, our bodies bursting and beaming with sunlight, all we can imagine eating is the lightest possible fare.

On such a blazing day, a month before summer’s official debut, I sat in La Pentola at OPUS Hotel waiting with mouth watering for chef and co-owner Lucais Syme to present me with a succulent Northern Italian dish, the Whole Roasted Branzino, only available at the restaurant between Wednesday and Sunday.

Swimming in a pool of herbs, tomatoes, and lemon, the presentation of the flavourful white fish will cause conversation to pause as mouths slowly drop open and taste buds secrete. The tender meat slips off bones and deliciously moistens the mouth with its juices. Intersperse heavenly mouthfuls with a refreshing sip of white wine - we suggest the Suavia Soave Classico or Vietti Roero Arneis.

Eat slowly and lingeringly to appreciate the sensations, and bustling Yaletown will quickly be replaced by the breezy Mediterranean with each bite consumed.

~ Sandra O’Connell

What we’re drinking at OPUS

On a rainy Vancouver day, I found myself not puddle jumping, but instead evoking the warm Italian air at OPUS Bar.

Jay Paré, the new General Manager of La Pentola and OPUS Bar, has named April as the month of the Negroni. The classic beverage, conceived in Florence in 1919, transports sippers to the shores of the Italian coast with just one taste.

Forget April showers. Imagine lounging on the deck of a yacht, the heat of the Mediterranean sun on your back, and a paramour chilling your skin by dragging an icy glass of Negroni against your burning neck. Do you have shivers?

The bitter-sweet Campari and orange zest, stirred with barrel-aged Victoria gin and Cinzano Rosso create a rich and vivacious cocktail, very near in colour to the Hermes-orange walls of our Pierre rooms.

Ask barman, Ben, to concoct a Negroni for you and see what Italian dreams crop up.

- Sandra O’Connell