Last Friday night, my quest for delicious and affordable pasta took me to Zeffirelli’s Spaghetti Joint. Located on the heart of Robson street, Zeffirelli’s is hidden above Cactus Club cafe, only accessible through a long flight of stairs. Like me, you probably walked by this place countless times without acknowledging its existence. This restaurant was recommended to me by a friend and I was skeptical at first, but upon looking at the reviews and menu I realized this restaurant is not the same as the other rip off mediocore restaurants on Robson.
I invited CL and my friends to join me on Friday night and upon entering the restaurant, the first thing that impressed me was the tasteful décor. The walls of the restaurant were covered in wine bottles which gave it a very wine-cellar-like ambiance and the piano shaped salad/antipasto bar added a touch of class to the restaurant. Another thing I noticed was how noisy the restaurant was. There was no open kitchen but for some reason the restaurant was really LOUD, and I mean loud as in louder than a Dim Sum restaurant on a Saturday morning. Didn’t really bother me that much but it made for some awkward and broken conversations during dinner.
We decided to open a bottle of their house red wine to shared amongst the whole table. At $25/bottle, the wine was “strong” (according to everyone else) and affordable. CL and I shared food because she wasn’t that hungry. For appetizer we got the Polpette ($8.50), which was meatballs with ricotta in tomato sauce. The meatballs were big and tender but lacked any strong flavours. I would have preferred more aggressive seasoning but CL liked it the way it was. I also tried the Steamed Mussels my friend ordered and that was absolutely amazing. The muscle was plump, juicy and cooked perfectly. The complimentary bread and tomato sauce were good, but they were both served cold and I prefer my dinner bread served warm.
CL and I shared the spaghetti von congole ($17.50) for our entrée (Picture is only half of the order). The pasta was cooked perfectly al dente and the white wine and olive oil sauce was rich and full of clams. Unlike most places, Zeffirelli’s used canned and fresh clams for this dish which gave it a good clam to pasta ratio without over crowding the dish with clam shells. My only complaint is that the sauce had a little too much olive oil.
Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves at Zeffirelli’s. The ambiance was nice, the service was attentive, and most importantly the food was affordable and delicious. This is the perfect place to celebrate a special occasion or just unwind after a day of shopping.