Canada News

Meals Entrance: Chef Andrey Durbach’s latest restaurant serves Italian classics with a twist

Impostori dishes the true factor

Article content material

There are lots of acquainted faces right here at Impostori Trattoria + Negroni Bar, a brand new upscale-ish, Italian-ish restaurant on South Granville Road.

Commercial 2

Article content material

There’s Neil Ingram (previously of Boneta) behind the bar, wine pro-about-town Gordon Ritchie welcoming friends, and Monica Acs (ex of Bishop’s) dropping off a plate of pasta. But it surely’s not simply the employees who’ve adopted chef Andrey Durbach to his latest restaurant. It’s his loyal friends, hungry for the form of up to date classics he does so effectively.

Article content material

“We have now blissful prospects. The banquettes are good and the meals is nice, in fact,” Durbach says, however provides, slightly darkly, “no one sees the Wizard of Oz behind the controls.”

Few cooks on this metropolis are as adept at opening new eating places as Durbach. After getting his begin at Bishop’s, Il Giardino and the Culinary Institute of America in New York, he opened Étoile (in 1996), Parkside (2003), La Buca (2006) and Pied-à-Terre (2007), adopted by Cafeteria and Sardine Can. In 2017, seeking to really personal the property the place he cooked, he hightailed it to Courtenay, the place he opened Il Falcone in an enthralling yellow home surrounded by cherry and quince bushes.

Commercial 3

Article content material

Then COVID-19 hit, his marriage crumbled and Vancouver known as him again dwelling to open yet another restaurant, this one within the outdated Chow location the place chef J-C Poirier operated his first, ground-breaking restaurant again in 2007.

However Durbach has returned to a really completely different scene than the one he left.

He’s battling “COVID, inflation, no employees, loopy excessive costs in Vancouver,” he says. “It’s been 16-hour days, 5 days every week—after which I work on my days off. I haven’t seen an atmosphere like this ever earlier than.”

However you’d by no means discover the cracks as you sit down within the vibrant eating room and sip on an icy Negroni whereas pondering the selection between sfoglina Marta Pan’s freshly handmade pastas, the lamb rack or veal tenderloin, the Brunello or the Barolo. As an alternative, it feels virtually like a throwback to the Nineties period of opulent dishes, extravagant wines and meticulous hospitality dished out by what Durbach calls “the very best service employees I’ve ever labored with.”

Commercial 4

Article content material

True, the costs are excessive for what’s meant to be an off-the-cuff restaurant, however that’s simply the truth of inflation, labour woes and provide chain points. However a $60 veal chop or $30 plate of pasta isn’t going to cease the purchasers who know that Durbach goes to serve them simply what they’re craving most.

“Most people coming by means of my doorways are individuals who’ve been coming by means of my doorways for the final quarter century,” Durbach says. Moreover, he provides, “guys like myself, I don’t actually know do the rest.”

Recipe: Caramel Panna Cotta

At Impostori Trattoria + Negroni Bar, chef-owner Andrey Durbach serves excellent little desserts his loyal followers will bear in mind from Il Falcone, like this basic panna cotta topped with salted caramel sauce and crunchy hazelnut praline. Recipe excerpted with permission from Island Eats: Signature Cooks’ Recipes from Vancouver Island and the Salish Sea (Determine 1 Publishing).

Commercial 5

Article content material

Caramel Panna Cotta.
Caramel Panna Cotta. Picture by Gabriel Cabrera for Island Eats /PNG

Serves 8

Panna cotta:

  • 1 (300 mL) can condensed milk
  • 4 cups whipping (33%) cream
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 sheets gelatin

Salted caramel sauce:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 3/4 cup whipping (33%) cream
  • 1 tsp tremendous sea salt

Hazelnut praline:

  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup mild corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups toasted hazelnuts or different favorite nut


  • Crème fraîche or whipped cream

Panna Cotta

Peel label off condensed milk can. Place unopened can on its facet in a big saucepan, then add sufficient water to cowl the can by 2 inches. Convey to a boil, then cut back to a vigorous simmer and cook dinner for two hours, ensuring the can is at all times lined in water. High up with extra scorching water if essential.

Commercial 6

Article content material

Utilizing tongs, take away the can of condensed milk from the pan and run beneath chilly working water till cool sufficient to deal with. Open. You’ll have a tender, wealthy, candy, deep golden-brown caramel generally known as dulce de leche.

In a big saucepan, mix cream, brandy and salt and convey to a close to boil. Cut back warmth to medium-low and gently simmer. Pour in caramel and whisk till easy.

In a small bowl, soak gelatin in lukewarm water for 3 to 4 minutes, till softened. Take away gelatin and squeeze out extra water. Whisk gelatin into the caramel combination till mixed.

Pour into a big serving dish or into 8 ramekins, then chill for at the very least 4 hours till set.

Salted caramel sauce

Convey sugar and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add butter, cut back warmth to medium, and cook dinner for 3 to 4 minutes, till a deep golden amber in color.

Commercial 7

Article content material

Working rapidly and thoroughly, take away pan from warmth and pour in cream. Vigorously whisk the effervescent caramel sauce till it begins to subside, then add salt. Cut back warmth to low and cook dinner for an additional minute, till silky easy. Put aside to chill.

Hazelnut praline

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Generously spray paper with cooking spray.

Connect a sweet thermometer to a tall-sided, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Mix sugar, butter, water and corn syrup and cook dinner over medium-high warmth till temperature reads 300°F (hard-crack stage).

Take away from warmth, then add baking soda, which can trigger combination to bubble up. Rapidly stir in hazelnuts, then instantly pour combination onto the ready baking sheet and unfold with a silicone spatula. Combination ought to lie as flat as potential. This can be a very sticky operation so that you’ll have to work rapidly and safely. Oven mitts are maybe a good suggestion for the much less assured. Put aside to chill and harden.

Break up and pulse in a meals processor to make praline. (Or simply break up as an alternative and eat as brittle.)


High panna cotta with a layer of salted caramel sauce, a dollop of crème fraîche (or whipped cream) and a beneficiant sprinkle of hazelnut praline.

    Commercial 1


Postmedia is dedicated to sustaining a vigorous however civil discussion board for dialogue and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Feedback could take as much as an hour for moderation earlier than showing on the positioning. We ask you to maintain your feedback related and respectful. We have now enabled e-mail notifications—you’ll now obtain an e-mail should you obtain a reply to your remark, there’s an replace to a remark thread you comply with or if a person you comply with feedback. Go to our Group Pointers for extra info and particulars on alter your e-mail settings.

Leave a Reply