Mosaic Grille + Bar at The Hyatt Regency Vancouver is, as you likely know, one of our favorite places to dine in this city.

So it brought us great pleasure when we heard Chef Thomas Heinrich was working on an Italian Chef Tasting Menu, as we’re not only huge fans of Heinrich’s food in general — but Italian cuisine as well.

As with most of Heinrich’s tasting menus at Mosaic, it’s best to drop any pre-conceived notions and just go in expecting the unexpected. He’s begun to develop a reputation for amping up anything he puts his hands on, and this menu was no different — classic dishes presented with his own unique flair.

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Panzanella Insalata – Bread Affair Ciabatta, heirloom tomatoes, prosciutto, bone marrow saltimbocca

This dish was a nice starter to the meal. Crispy house-made croutons, salty prosciutto, crispy capers and fresh heirloom tomatoes surrounded a succulent split bone marrow, which was densely flavoured, buttery and tender.

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Vialone Nano Truffle Risotto – truffle dwarf peaches, parmesan foam

This dish was a stunner, and our favourite of the evening. Rich, creamy and cooked perfectly al dente, the sous-vide egg and caviar basically sends this dish over the top. A must try for any risotto lover.

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Hand Rolled Pasta – cerignola olive broth, bottarga

This dish was interesting. The hand-cut pasta was quite thin, which made it somewhat difficult to eat, but it was still great. The olive broth was intense, and you could really taste the rich olive flavour. The bottarga, which is a Mediterranean delicacy of cured fish roe origin, was very salty and quite powerful, so we’d suggest you take a small bite before going for the whole thing!

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Branzino – polenta, fennel, squid ink

Visually this was probably the most memorable of the evening. A lovely cut of Branzino served on a bed of polenta and braised fennel and a pool of jet-black squid ink broth. A type of seabass from Northern Italy, the Branzino was light and fresh, with an irresistible crispy grilled skin.

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Tiramisu – house-made ladyfingers, Disaronno soaked cherries

This was a fun and inventive dessert, a sort of ‘deconstructed’ version of a classic, and we loved the texture of all the elements together on the plate. After the four previous dishes you’ll likely be in the mood for something light, and this fits the bill perfectly.

The five-course Italian Chef Tasting Menu is currently available for just $45 or $65 with wine pairings, and runs until September 5, 2013. Don’t miss it!

XX – The Food Gays

Disclaimer: We were invited to review this dining package, however all opinions are 100% ours.

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