If you love Italian food, you’ve got two new places to check out in Metro Vancouver: one in Delta, one in Langley.
Il Posto (4866 Delta Street), in Ladner Village in the heart of Delta, is run by a young couple, Terry Pichor and Julie Marcopoulos, who are parents to an infant son. One of the reasons they opted to open in Delta and not Vancouver was because of affordability, both to run a restaurant and raise a family.
Plus, Marcopoulos grew up in Tsawwassen, and her dad is a former restaurant owner there, having opened Mario’s in 2000. He has since sold it, but he has been sharing lessons learned over the decades in the restaurant business in that area with the pair.
Pichor got his start in the industry after moving here from Manitoba several years ago. He worked at Bin 941 before doing an apprenticeship at YEW Seafood and Bar at the Four Seasons Hotel.
He then took on the role of sous chef at Sonora Resort (a Relais & Chateaux property) under chef Matthew Stowe, who won Top Chef Canada in 2013. After Stowe left the resort, Pichor was promoted to chef, a position he held for eight years, before opening the Summit Restaurant at the Villa Eyrie Resort on Vancouver Island. Last year, it was nominated as one of the country’s 30 best new restaurants by Air Canada’s enRoute magazine.
Il Posto has a wood-burning pizza oven, with 11 pizzas currently on offer, and also serves freshly made pasta, such as spaghetti cacio e pepe and casarecci. Many menu items, including charcuterie boards (featuring selections from Two Rivers Speciality Meats) and bruschetta, can be shared alla famiglia. Look for a selection of wines from B.C. and Italy.
Langley, meanwhile, is home to the newly opened Italian Osteria and Cheesebar (20330 88 Avenue).
The restaurant belongs to the Joseph Richard Group, which is owned by André Bourque and Ryan Moreno, friends who met in elementary school in Surrey. JRG has more than a dozen establishments, including several pubs and steak houses, throughout the Lower Mainland and is expanding into Alberta. It’s one of the fastest growing food and beverage companies in Western Canada.
Top Chef Canada’s Stowe, who’s originally from Cloverdale, is the director of culinary operations for the Joseph Richard Group as a whole. By his side is the group’s corporate chef, David Jorge, a Surrey native who won MasterChef Canada Season 2.
The Italian Osteria has a cheese menu (featuring certified organic Parmigiano Reggiano and ash-covered goat cheese from Quebec, among several others). There’s a large wood-burning pizza oven here, too; one of the pies, the Honeybee Pizza, has Calabrian salami and honey.
Pasta dishes include squid-ink linguine with olive oil-poached squid, spaghetti with house-made meatballs, and seasonal ravioli with local butternut squash.