Opus Hotel goes Italian with new pop-up restaurant Cento Notti
In a city where restaurants open and close each month faster than you can say “cheque please”, Peter Girges, president of RockGlass Concepts, which recently opened Chinois restaurant (1035 Mainland Street), may be onto something with his ever-evolving dining space inside the Opus Hotel (350 Davie Street). What used to be the Elixir Bistro reopened as 100 Days, a pop-up restaurant that would last only 100 days starting in August 2010. When its time was up, 100 Days reinvented itself as 100 Nights, a swish Yaletown hangout serving cocktails with comfort food for the young and beautiful. Now, Girges has changed the concept again: Cento Notti.
A direct translation of “100 Nights” in Italian, the name of the restaurant isn’t necessarily original, and neither is the menu—for the most part. Here, in the dimly lit dining room—gothically decorated with painted mannequins on the walls and black angel wings hanging from the ceiling—you’ll find the kind of simple Italian food you’re most likely craving: a plate of parmesan fried calamari and bruschetta to start; a Burrata salad to share; simple pastas, like spaghetti Bolognese and parpadelle carbonara to warm the soul; and braised osso bucco or eggplant parmigiana to finish. You’ll probably stay well into the evening too, with a wine list of more than 50 bottles and a cocktail list of favourites, such as the Cento Bellini and Negroni, to keep you smiling.
At the opening party on November 30, smiles were easy to come by. The drinks were free-flowing and two food stations—one full of savoury dishes, the other desserts—showed off some of the items on the restaurant’s dinner menu. Two types of prosciutto, a mountain of cheese, and a spread of salumi were a taste of some of the appetizers ($8 to $18), while a tomato rigatoni gave a hint of Cento Notti’s pasta dishes ($16 to $26), and veal over a bed of mashed potatoes, shallots, and mushrooms was an example of the restaurant’s mains ($14 to $36).
A dessert table in another corner of the restaurant displayed a variety of sweet goods, including chocolate-dipped biscotti and mini cakes; however, the pièce de resistance was the cannoli.
Chef Paul Marshall’s menu covers more than just dinnertime. Cento Notti also serves breakfast, brunch, and lunch each day of the week. Prices and items on the lunch menu are identical to dinner, so you may as well get gussied up, go at night, and enjoy the lively atmosphere.
Below, Michelle da Silva photos
Two types of freshly shaved prosciutto.
The horseshoe-shaped bar at Cento Notti.
Veal over a bed of mashed potatoes, shallots, and mushrooms.
Desserts at the opening party included a house-made Nanaimo bar and mini cakes.
Decadent cannoli lined with chocolate and filled with ricotta whipped cream.
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