It was a Friday, and we were a little too tired to cook, so we pulled out an old Entertainment book coupon that was to expire at the end of October, and visited Anducci's in Burnaby. I'd eaten at Anducci's over the years quite a few times, but the restaurant had disappointed us in some recent visits.
The restaurant itself is located on Cameron street, right across from Cameron library, and a few minute's walk from Lougheed Mall. The decor is a little strange, with really weird, concrete walls with concrete 'meringues' jutting out. The tables used to be this wrought metal with cut-outs, but these had changed to faux marble plastic ones. It seems that they have toned things down, design-wise. The menu too, had a new, sleeker look.
We were debating about whether to get appetizers or not, but they all sounded terrible, especially the Asian-inspired ones (why do restaurants DO this?), so we just opted for a couple of pastas.
Once we ordered, we were asked whether we wanted some house bread. We said yes, and were prepared to be charged. Once upon a time they offered free bread, which was brought to your table, but then they stopped giving free bread and started charging customers. I was pleased to note that we weren't charged for the bread. The bread is exactly as I'd remembered--slices of toasted focaccia drizzled with balsamic and olive oil, and sprinkled with parmesan. This was good: so warm and crunchy, with a nice tartness. Shane mentioned that he would have preferred to dip the bread himself, but that's not how they do it here.
The restaurant charges quite a bit for its pastas--it used to be a better deal when the portions were overwhelmingly huge, but the sizes have gone down over the years. The canneloni were $4 off that night, so Shane chose the spinach and cheese ones (these are normally $16). This came in a set of three, bathing in tomato sauce. However, the top and edges of the canneloni were dry, and the filling unfortunately tasted really bland. Shane described it as "tasting like a good microwave dinner," and I couldn't agree more. The filling was dry and tasted like playdoh. No fresh cheeses here, I'm afraid. The tomato sauce was unsettingly sweet for some reason.
I have enjoyed Anducci's pasta in the past, as they apparently make their own noodles, and I ordered a dish which has rarely failed me, the seafood pasta in cream sauce ($17). The good things about this dish were the noodles, and the seafood. The scallops were tiny, well cooked, and the shrimp were crunchy. Unfortunately they either failed to drain the pasta well or reduce the sauce, because the sauce was watery, and didn't coat each strand of pasta as it should have. It was also a bad sign that I had to reach for the salt shaker a few times.
We've given this restaurant quite a few chances over the years, and their inconsistency has been irksome. This visit was the last of a handful of disappointing ones. Given the price of the dishes, more care should have been taken over the quality and preparation of the food.