Robba da Matti had first started off as a wine bar when it first opened in Vancouver, and has expanded its offerings to include traditional Italian dishes to round out its menu.
Its owner, Matti Rikkinen, had his start in the culinary scene when he was 16, in Thunder Bay, Ontario. He decided to take a year off to backpack in Europe, where he met his wife in Rome and the one year adventure turned into eight. The duo worked in restaurants and bars in Northern Europe including cities like Amsterdam and Dublin. As the European crisis brewed, they decided to move back to Canada, and chose to relocate to Vancouver.
Robba da Matti is a small, cozy restaurant that will remind you of small hole-in-the-wall restaurants that are off the beaten track in Europe - which is where you will find the best family-run, local food. The restaurant aims to recreate the warm, rustic feeling of such European, family-run restaurants, with a covered outdoor-patio dining space.
If you are a fan of traditional Italian pasta, you will love it here. You will think about their pasta in between your regular visits to the restaurant, and when you friends ask you for recommendations for a pasta joint, you will instantly recommend Robba da Matti. We know because this is what we have been doing since our visit!
So what is so great about their food?
While we have yet to try the entire menu, we fell in love with the pesto and burrata pasta and the Spaghetti allo scoglio, aka “spaghetti from the coastline”.
The Pesto and Buratta pasta is a Southern Italian take on this Ligurian classic. Pistachio & pine nut basil/arugula pesto with spaghetti and burrata Pugliese. For us it was a dream come true with the use of just two simple ingredients that provide intense flavour and a creamy texture.
The Spaghetti allo scoglio brings together cherry tomatoes, scallops & chilies meshed with the Mediterranean’s finest. Mussels, clams, tiger prawns & calamari complete this Venetian dish and lets you experience a taste of the canal’s timeless romance.
If you are looking for an intimate spot where you can spend hours catching up, enjoying a good glass of wine with antipasto share plates and a generous portion of pasta, you are missing out if you have yet to set foot inside of Robba da Matti!