Rosa’s Cucina Italiana

  • Magazine: TheBlock
  • Issue: Volume 1, Issue 3
Rosa’s cucina

Perhaps adult-film star Ron Jeremy said it best when he wrote: “I haven’t had this much fun since my last movie,” on a photo that hangs at Rosa’s Cucina. At first glance, the hoards of people in line outside Rosa’s look less like hungry foodies awaiting noodles and more like determined Dead Heads awaiting concert tickets. While seeing a favourite band isn’t the reward at the end of the wait, seeing their photo might be. Ozzy Osbourne, Jon Bon Jovi, Mark Messier, and Cheers’ sometimes-you-want-to-go-where-everybody-knows-your-name Norm are just a sprinkling of celebs Rosa has served. “When George Wendt walked in, I yelled: ‘Hey Norm, there’s no running tab here!’” she laughs.

She leans in to tell us: “A Lion and an Eskimo just left.” Taking a moment to piece together that she isn’t referring to a wayward jungle feline or using archaic verbiage for a person of Inuit descent, I realize she means patrons of the CFL variety. Her dishes include Italian-fare like platefuls of pasta that would feed the Lion, the Eskimo, and both their teams. A firecracker who can debate with politicians and playfully confront athletes, what Rosa takes most seriously is the legacy of her mom’s recipes.

I spot a sign that reads: “The problem with Italian food is that 3 or 4 days later, you’re hungry again.” And we try not to feel too badly for those waiting outside for a table in the 42-seater, while we savour Caesar salad, prawns Sambuca, spinach-stuffed manicotti, spaghetti Riviera, and a slice of very sharable Tiramisu. As we leave, a member of this year’s Stanley Cup-winning team writes a note for Rosa. (Add another photo to the wall.) While admittedly I am in a somewhat different line of work than Ron Jeremy, I agree that I too haven’t had this much fun in a while.

Rosa’s Cucina, 2331 Clarke Street, Port Moody, 604.939.7500 (But don’t bother trying to get a reservation. “I would even make Jimmy Pattison wait in line. Just like everybody else!”)