Ask for Luigi.
Every week, Stir Pairing suggests locally available food and/or drink to go with a local arts event.
Among the 500+ artists opening up their studios for the 2022 Eastside Culture Crawl, a handful, including Amy Slosky, specialize in leatherwork. Slosky designs bespoke leather shoes, following the centuries-old artisan craft and making them by hand, right down to the hand-stitched soles.
“It all began simply—I really just wanted to make beautiful shoes,” Slosky says in her artist statement. “But it wasn’t enough to just learn the craft; I wanted to immerse myself in Italian culture and tradition, one where makers and artisans are integrated into everyday life. So I did.”
Slosky travelled to Florence and spent four years studying under Angelo Imperatrice, a master with more than 60 years’ experience. Her shoes consist of premium all-Italian leather uppers, outer sole, and heel and a 100-percent leather insole. The material allows the shoes to naturally mold to the contours of a person’s feet with wear.
Ask for Luigi.
Ask for Luigi.
Ask for Luigi has a lot to celebrate: there’s its ninth birthday—a feat in itself in the fiercely competitive local restaurant industry—and then there’s its recently earned Recommended ranking in MICHELIN’s inaugural Vancouver guide. Situated in a little house on the corner of Alexander and Gore streets with seats for a total of 27 people, the Italian eatery operated by Kitchen Table Restaurants cooks up dynamite Italian dishes and serves them family-style on beautifully mismatched plates.
Until November 30, Ask For Luigi is celebrating it all with a special dinner menu of opening dishes, throwback favourites, and brand-new menu items. Highlights include soft-boiled egg topped with salmon roe and white anchovies; duck ragu with pecorino atop freshly made pappardelle; roasted bone marrow served in the bone itself with black truffles, seasonal mushrooms, and gremolata; a risotto with braised veal cheeks and squash. There’s a reason the fried cauliflower with chickpeas, herbs, and aioli has been on the menu since day one. And for dessert, there’s bomboloni with pistachio cream and caramel sauce. To go with it all is a purely Italian wine list, including some organic selections; classic cocktails and amaro; brews by East Van’s Slow Hand Beer Company and Victoria’s Moons Under Water; and more. Saluti!
Many items off of Ask for Luigi’s regular menu can be ordered online for pick-up and enjoyed at home. Made of 95 percent Sangiovese and five percent Merlot, Castello di Gabbiano’s Cavaliere d’Oro Riserva Chianti Classico is, according the winemaker, made with “only the finest grapes” from its estate vineyards. The winery, situated 15 kilometres outside of Florence, dates back to 1164. For wine geeks, the process goes like this: “Fruit Parcels from different sites were kept separate during fermentation and aging, providing with an enticing range of flavours and textures for blending one month prior to bottling. Ferments took place on the skins in small stainless steel tanks which were monitored individually: punch downs and déléstage were enlisted according to each must. To help round out the wine while retaining optimal freshness, the juice underwent a secondary natural malolactic fermentation in stainless steel plus a portion (50%) of French oak. The wine was aged 12 months in traditional French oak casks and small barriques – only 10% new oak – it then enjoyed 12 months additional bottle maturation prior to release.”
To get to the point, the wine’s strawberry and citrus notes are balanced by earthy, spicy flavours. A BCL feature product this month, it’s regularly priced at $29.99, on sale for $22.99 until November 26.
Gail Johnson is a Vancouver-based journalist who has earned local and national nominations and awards for her work. She is a certified Gladue Report writer via Indigenous Perspectives Society in partnership with Royal Roads University and is a member of the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards judging panel.
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This edition features Eastside Culture Crawl artist Amy Slosky; MICHELIN-Recommended restaurant Ask for Luigi; and a Chianti Classico
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The new female-led event features wine, food, and musical picks by DJ Dimanche
The inaugural local selections also include 40 Recommended eateries, 12 “Bib Gourmands”, and three special awards
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Winemaker’s dinners, whisky tastings, and demos by celebrity chefs among the other highlights of the annual culinary fest
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We are grateful to live, work, create, and play on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.