Rosa’s Cucina Italiana is a tiny Italian restaurant in Port Moody on 2331 Clarke Street. This local Cucina is a classic mom and pop shop that offers homemade pasta. Unfortunately, well, it is just that, “homemade” – and not particularly gourmet. In a small market it may be considered a “gem”; however, with a larger demographic and competition it can only be considered mediocre. The self pro-claimed “best Italian food in the Lower Mainland” is quite the stretch.
This Italian restaurant has been opened for many years. The decor is dated and lighting is dim. It takes no reservations. You are seated on a first come first serve basis. We came on an otherwise quiet Thursday night and waited over an hour outside before we were seated. It is terribly mismanaged and understaffed. The husband and wife team simply can not attend to their patron at a reasonable fashion despite their best intentions. After we ordered, it took another hour before our food arrived.
Caesar Salad 13.50: One oily salad and fresh crispy Romaine lettuce, cheese and Anna’s homemade dressing. This salad was bland and requires some anchovies. If you are looking for a gourmet Caesar, I’d suggest heading to Boulevard Kitchen.
Meatballs 14: This side appetizer came with four giant meatballs. Uncharacteristic of a juicy and gourmet meatball, it lacked seasoning. I would prefer Glowbal’s truffled spaghetti and meatballs any day of the week.
Spaghetti with Italian Sausage 16.75: Unfortunately I’d like to say that Rosa’s completely missed the mark on the red marinara sauce. The sausage needed some seasoning and perhaps a little kick of peppers.
Spaghetti Vongole 16.25: Despite what the photo on their website suggests, the clams did not come with shells. It was tiny morsels diced and suggests previously frozen. We chose a garlic and oil base.
Spaghetti Carbonara: This classic Carbonara tasted much like their Spaghetti Vongole – switch out the clams for bacon. It was not a creamy pasta dish filled with cream, bacon and egg yolks like Spacca Napoli.
Homemade Gnocchi 17: Traditional Gnocchi made white cream sauce we soft and pillowy. The cream sauce was nice but also not very flavourful.
Rosa’s Cucina Italiana missed the mark on so many levels that it is hard to justify a re-visit given Spacca Napoli is just at up the street and Jimoco is not to far away. There are simply better food options in the Tri-Cities nowadays with better flavour profile, culinary execution and service.
And as a closing side note: Our dining experience was rudely interrupted by another patron (who probably was drunk) who mocked us by taking photos of us taking photos of our food, dancing around the tiny restaurant like a buffoon. His childish behavior was not addressed by the owners. No action was taken to put a stop to this clown. Instead, it left us accosted, saddened, and frankly a little angry that it our inconvenience was not acknowledged and that no apology was made. A restaurant that doesn’t value their customers does not value respect.
Rosa’s Cucina Italiana
Cuisine: Italian, Pasta