by Andrew Morrison | Yesterday I wrote about anticipating the first, truly transformative day of summer in Vancouver, riffing on how special it was and how it usually arrives several weeks before June 21st, or summer’s “official” first day. As soon as I finished the short piece I went out to Cibo Trattoria for an early afternoon meal, so it was still fresh in my mind when I attacked their lunch special: a plate of ravioli stuffed with pork and goat cheese. Everything about the dish reminded me of what I’d just been writing about — of spring being hesitant of summer, of all the attempts and feints towards the real thing. Technically, it was a flawless dish; the pasta was cooked perfectly with firm edges, the wintry pork flavour of the stuffing dominating the summery goat cheese accent like it didn’t quite belong. The halved spears of in-season asparagus were roasted and pungent; the fresh arugula at its side adding a gentle pepper kick to the char. The thing that tied it all together was the sauce: a tomato ‘conserva’ that was nicely olive-oiled and salted with Parmesan wisps and pasta water. The deliciously preserved – if meagrely apportioned (just four!) – shrivelled orbs gave the plate the brightness and acidic shock of summer. Last summer. It was a trick, to be sure, an Icarus-like swipe, a yearning for something that can’t be…yet. I was fooled because I wanted to be, and I would gladly be fooled in this way again and again. Note that it was a daily special ($17), so you probably won’t find it on the menu. Cross your fingers that it’s still there.
Cibo Trattoria | 900 Seymour Street | 604-602-9570 | www.cibotrattoria.ca