When you visit Ask for Luigi located in the heart of downtown eastside, you know you’re in for a special treat. Ask for Luigi is a casual Italian eatery best known for their excellent house made pasta dishes. Here you will find traditional family style Italian dishes run by chef and co-owner JC Poirier who previously worked at Campagnolo and Lumiere.
The famed Italian eatery has remained packed since its inception three years ago. They have swept up many prestigious awards including Restaurant of the Year, Best Casual Restaurant, and Best New Restaurant to name a few.You’re better off coming here for brunch during their opening hours if you don’t have the patience like me to wait for them to squeeze you inside their tiny 34-seat restaurant.
I made brunch plans with the boyfriend over the weekend and luckily it wasn’t too hard to convince him wake up early and make the drive out to Vancouver. I was pretty serious about arriving half an hour early because I wanted to potentially beat out the brunch crowd and grab a table right away. We eventually got there ten minutes before their 9:30AM opening and to my surprise… we were the only ones there! Must be the weather impacting restaurant sales and traffic but that’s good news for locals like me! 🙂
For starters, we each had an Americano ($3) served in a small glass. The espresso was strong and flavourful. I didn’t detect any bitter aftertaste which was good. We were also given the option of either sparkling or still water for the table. We went with sparkling and later discovered there was a surcharge of $2 at the end of our meal. I wish we were informed ahead of time… oh well! 🙄
Banana Bread (complimentary) One of the reasons why we showed up early! You get complimentary fresh-baked banana bread for showing up before 10am. They usually go around for $5 a loaf, too! The loaf was nice and moist with the perfect amount of sweetness accompanied with whipped caramel butter. My boyfriend and I happily demolished the banana bread 😀
Pappardelle alla Bolognese and Fried Egg ($19) Pasta for brunch… my dream come true! The pasta was perfectly al dente and the meat sauce was robust and flavourful. I liked how the yolk was still a bit runny for me to cream-ify the noodles. Note that there is just a pinch of heat in this dish and it’s pretty rich! I had to pack half of it to go.
Taliolini alla Carbonara and Poached Egg ($19) The carbonara was really delicious. The diced pancetta tossed in the pasta provided a nice salty kick to balance out the creaminess. The simple execution and balanced flavours of the grated paremeggiano, eggs, and fresh pasta in this dish makes it hard to resist ordering every time. The perfectly poached egg on top was an added bonus XD
After our meal, my boyfriend and I wanted to sit down for an extra five minutes and finish up on our sparkling water, but one of the waitresses rushed us out because apparently there was a party of two waiting for our table. I understand that the place can get busy, but the restaurant clearly had space to squeeze them in. Although our brunch experience felt kind of rushed today, I would still recommend this place to family and friends for a solid Italian brunch.
305 Alexander St
Contact: 604 428 2544