I drive past Vaticano Cucina all the time but never had the opportunity to stop in until recently! They opened in May and this place is amazing – family run and owned, beautiful interior and delicious food. It might just be the new ‘spot’ as my bf and I really enjoyed the food, service and atmosphere.
We came later into the evening on Friday. The restaurant was not too busy but the atmosphere was still so nice. They had an amazing playlist going with jazzy-acoustic covers of some good ‘classic’ songs. There’s an open kitchen and natural light pretty much fills the entire restaurant. They created a beautiful open space that was extremely inviting.
For me, Vaticano Cucina felt like a fine dining Italian restaurant with modern touches and classy decor. You’d think the place has crazy expensive prices but nope! Affordable and delicious food in a stunning, up-scale setting, I love it. You also won’t miss the amazing artwork on their ceilings.
Per my bf’s choice, we started off the meal with Duo of Crudo ($13). This featured chips, chopped raw proteins and herbs. The rawness in proteins reminded me of beef carpaccio and I’d best describe this dish as a creative twist on something similar. It came with chopped raw beef that was mixed with herbs. There was also chopped raw salmon mixed with herbs – hence the name “duo”. The chips were crispy and paired well with both proteins. Although the dish was tasty, I don’t think I’d order this dish again as I’m just not a big raw protein person. However, if you are an adventurous eater, I definitely recommend trying this dish to try something a little different!
Vaticano Cucina prides themselves on their handmade pasta and wood fired pizzas. So for entrees, we had the St. Matthew Pizza ($15) and the Bucattini Carbonara ($18).
One notable thing about the pizza was that we had it montanara style. This meant that they deep fried the dough for around 90 seconds, mostly around the edges/crust, before they put it into the oven. The St. Matthew pizza that we ordered had proscuitto cotto, mushrooms and fior di latte. I love Neapolitan style pizza so I knew I couldn’t go wrong ordering this.
As a girl who usually leaves the crust, I found the dough and crust in particular, to be so delicious – there was an extra crunch and heartiness to it, perhaps attributable to the woodfired oven. I ended up eating the crust this time around! My only complaint was that there was a lot of sauce on the pizza. This is just a personal preference though because my bf liked that there was a lot of sauce. The fior di latte was also creamy and fresh.
The Bucattini Carbonara that we ordered was also extremely delicious. It came with pancetta, Italian sausage, cream egg, shallots and pecorino. We also added extra Italian sausage to it for $3. Bucattini is a thicker spaghetti so it was different from the regular thin spaghetti that I typically have with carbonara. This was my favourite dish of the night. The pasta had the right amount of flavour and sauce and I would definitely order this again.
By the end of our meal, we were so full but we couldn’t leave without trying the dessert! We ordered the Pistachio Panna Cotta ($8) which was presented so beautifully.
It was creamy and refreshing and the best part was that it had actual pistachios in it! I’ve found that many restaurants have pistachio flavoured desserts rather than actual pistachio pieces, so this was definitely a treat. The panna cotta was definitely the “cherry-on-top” to a delicious dinner.
Overall, our dinner here was great. Service was above and beyond as the staff and owners of Vaticano Cucina were very friendly. Our server was attentive and knowledgeable which is always appreciated – especially when it’s your first time to a place. I also had the pleasure to meet the owner Joe and his wife who were both extremely hospitable!
I’m so happy to see a family-run business,with amazing food, staff and service, open in the South, close to home. I will definitely be returning as I would love to try more of their menu options. Whatever the occasion, I recommend giving Vaticano Cucina a try!
10310 45 Ave NW, Edmonton