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“La Famiglia, The Italian Restaurant Nanaimo Has Been Waiting For?”
Review of La Famiglia - CLOSED

La Famiglia
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed September 28, 2012

Nanaimo has not been kind to restaurants labelled Italian, with a number of closures over the past year or two. La Famiglia, open only a few months, has taken over the space once occupied by The Wesley Street Cafe.

The space is structurally the same, with redecoration in a rich dark decor better suited to candle lit night time dining. We visited at Friday lunch, almost missing the fact that it was open, as little lighting was evident from the street. Despite the day of the week, and the business of other nearby restaurants, we were the only patrons here, perhaps because of the absence of advertising, and the ease with which one could conclude it was not open.

We were greeted warmly by a skilled server. The lunch menu is not extensive, but has offerings in many areas of the evening menu at attractive prices, and a special. The lunch wine list is limited but contains some good offerings at attractive prices.

We opted for the special, a risotto with shrimp, and a chicken mushroom penne pasta, favorably reviewed by others. Hot bread with the ubiquitous olive oil and basalmic vinegar was very good, as was the house salad with mixed greens, capers, sun dried tomatoes and onions.

The entrees were both outstanding. The penne was perfectly cooked and sauced with real cream and butter sauteed chicken and mushrooms. Very robust and satisfying. The risotto was the best we have ever tasted - rich and finely crafted. Some perfectly grilled prawns decorated the top.

Helpings on both were generous, but did not survive our stimulated appetite.

The chef briefly made an appearance in the room - very distinguished middle age, and very Italian.

As we were the only patrons, it's perhaps not surprising we had superlative service. Hopefully this is maintained now in busier times, unlike that noted by an earlier reviewer.

We are quite experienced with Italian food, and based on our lunch visit, would strongly recommend this new try at providing Nanaimo diners with the Italian experience they deserve.

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Thank Jaquesspratt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (18)
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6 - 10 of 18 reviews

Reviewed August 24, 2012

This restaurant has either serious identity problems or someone is being economical with the truth. I too have recently visited this restaurant and found both the service and quality to be far below what one would normally accept. I ordered seafood pasta and can only assume that the only seafood to be found in the seas around Nanaimo are clams and there must be a shortage of these as well. My wife asked if the salmon used in the salmon dish was of the wild variety and the reply was ‘I don’t really know’. Despite the fact that there were only 6/8 people in the restaurant I could not understand why the service was so slow and would hate to imagine the scene were there to be a full-house. All in all not an experience I would like to repeat.

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Thank boyoLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2012

In the past week I have had the opportunity to go for lunch and dinner at La Famiglia. The gnocchi is the best I have ever had. Like little tastes of heaven. The sambuca prawns are lovely. We have also tried the spaghetti with meat balls and lemon veal. Each was an excellent dish. We loved Dino's warmth. A great restaurant and now on the top of our Nanaimo list of places to eat at.

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Thank Andrewsam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 15, 2012

In no shape or form could this be classed as Italian - which Italian restaurant would serve up a cheese pizza with a few raw vegetables on top and claim that it is bruchetta???We initially went on a Tuesday evening but found it closed despite the claim that it opened 7 days a week. We then made the mistake of going the next night when,unfortunately, it was open. I cannot explain how bad the food was - the recipes were wrong, the ingredients were wrong and the result was inedible. Two of the four main courses were sent back virtually untouched and whilst the waitress was most apologetic and reported our concerns to the owner he refused to discuss it. The place was empty when we arrived and this should have forewarned us. Keep well clear of this place!!!!

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2  Thank Dezza21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2012

Two years ago we discovered the Grapevine Trattoria in Nanaimo and fell in love with the food and the staff. Returning this year, we were disappointed to learn that it had closed but happy to learn that a new Italian restaurant had opened next door. We took a chance and our party of 6 trekked up through the rain from the marina. Only Dino (plus one other helper in the kitchen) and his daughter were there and it was a busy night so service was extremely slow. The Caprese salad was very disappointing but the smoked salmon penne was excellent. The two seafood pastas were not as described, lacking fish and heavy on clams, but the flavors were very good. We realized that the restaurant had not been open long and will give it another chance whenever we return.

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Thank topsie2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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