Patio Perfection at Cilantro
Two old houses connected to make one delightful restaurant – nostalgia and genuinely kind service make Cilantro (338 17th Ave S.W.) everyone’s favourite destination for a first date. To steal a little genius from Mr. Yves Saint Laurent – “trends come and go, but style is eternal.” The same can be said for this 17th avenue industry veteran – relishing their 27th year, Cilantro continues to warm hearts with their signature forno oven-baked pizzas and homemade pasta dishes.
To our great fortune, we wandered down the avenue to Cilantro on a summery afternoon and enjoyed a high-top table on the patio. Their feature menu, which changes every service, highlights endless creativity in the kitchen. (Side note: Chef Ken Canavan has been cooking at Cilantro for 23 years and is as integral to the plates as the ingredients he uses.) Greeted with a glass of Foss Marai sparkling rosé and fresh baked honey bread, we decided to let the kitchen dazzle us with their daily creations.
We indulged in the feature salad ($16) which paired romaine, yellow peppers and blackened chicken in a light, tangy vinaigrette. The feature pasta also called our name, combining scallops, shrimp, chorizo sausage, snap peas and fresh rotini tossed in a light olive oil dressing.
Dessert at Cilantro is hard to pass up, and the quinoa chocolate cake ($9) served with dulce de leche and light whipped cream had us lingering on the sunny patio just a little while longer.
True to form, Cilantro operates like a home. Warmly welcomed and remembered by name, you will leave feeling full of affection for both the place and the food that this avenue gem has built its reputation on.