If you ever want to see how restaurant can continue to evolve and improve – look no further than CinCin. A stalwart of Robson Street for over 25 years, the room’s clunky faux Tuscan decor evokes the glory days of the Vancouver Stock Exchange and the Robin Leach lifestyles bankrolled by smooth talking stock promoters. No matter, the food and service more than compensate.
The cooking is smart, confident, and utterly delicious. Executive Chef Andrew Richardson understands restraint – the plates are incredibly well edited – what is on the plate is exactly all that is needed. I’ve been a few times now, and my admiration of Chef Richardson’s sense of self in his food grows with each visit.
The pastas are sauced with care and a light hand, to highlight the beautiful buoyancy of well made egg noodles. A recent pasta dish with a shaving of white truffles was that magical marriage of simplicity and mouth filling wallops of flavour. No fake truffle oils or pastes, no over wrought pasta shapes or fillings. Perfect.
The wood fire roasts meat beautifully – imbuing the lightest lick of smoke, the deep heat bringing succulence and immediacy. I’ve had the roasted whole brazino in the past, and it is easily shared between two or three, though I could happily work through one on my own. On my latest visit – I had the pork tenderloin, richly juicy, with simple accompaniments of apple, cabbage and brussels sprouts.
Dessert was a chocolate tableau of ganache, crema, and gelato. I long for the days of well put together cakes and pastries – but this composed dish of various forms of chocolate was glorious.
In a world where it seems like more is more is more – and loudest is best – in the midst of a room of fake villa vistas – the cooking of Chef Richardson reminds us of what true luxury is. Restraint.