Chef Lucais Syme Plans ‘Autostrada’ – a New Pasta Concept for Main Street

Chef Lucais Syme of Cinara is opening a new restaurant with longtime front-of-house and wine guy Dustin Dockendorf (formerly of Joey, The Beach House). It’s called Autostrada, and it’s set to land at 4811 Main Street (at 32nd Avenue) at some point this Fall/Winter.

This is the same building that houses the newest location of Matchstick and a strip of Main that has long had the potential to be a “restaurant row” type of destination (Au Petit Cafe and Long’s Noodle House are on the same block). Locals responded immediately and positively to last year’s arrival of Matchstick, and I imagine they’ll be stoked for this too. Any neighbourhood would be!

The concept is a simple one. Autostrada is all about pasta, which is something that Syme does exceptionally well. Remember that several years before he opened Cinara he was one half of La Quercia and the founder of La Pentola. Pasta is his game. He has few Vancouver equals when it comes to the stuff. This is a fact that you can investigate and enjoy yourself tonight, if you choose, at Cinara. For my part, I tucked into a Rigatoni all’Amatriciana at the restaurant last night and the truth of its awesomeness was undeniable. I mean, c’mon…

There will be eight pastas on the menu, most of them classics like the Bolognese pictured above. We can also expect a range of tasty set-ups like salumi, terrines and vitello tonnato, plus some vegetarian dishes like salads and a risotto.  The 30 seater will include a short, 5 seat bar featuring several wines by the glass, good beer and a few vernacular cocktails (eg. Negroni).

They took possession of the space on August 1st and don’t start construction for another week or so. Lucais’ brother Jonathan Syme – an artist and professional gilder – is doing the design, and I’m really excited to see it. They’re crossing their fingers for an opening in mid-November at the soonest. So am I.


What’s in a name? An autostrada is an expressway or toll road in Italy.

 

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  1. Still can remember pasta and panini prepared by Adam and Lucais at La Ghianda, my favourite lunch spot of all time.

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