Vapiano is a new, trendy and beautiful pizza and pasta joint that is now occupying some prominent space at The Grace Hotel, on the corner of King and York Streets in the city. Vapiano has been around since December 2013, and judging by the queues in the pasta line, this is a good tell tale sign to enjoy a quality pasta lunch in the city here some time soon.
There are outdoor seating areas, yet the fun-filled civilisation upstairs resonated with me and my partner. I arrived about 15 minutes before we were scheduled to meet up, and a polite hostess hands me a swipe card and a menu to consult. She explains how the swipe card system works. It is so like a tab. Here at Vapiano, this card can get addictive. There is something about Friday's I don't know why, yet you're in the mood to swipe on end.
I go over the menu, and I instinctively knew that my man was in the mood for pizza. The million dollar question at the time was to which type. True to form, all good things happen to those who wait. In that case, hungry me went for some bruschetta ($5.90) and ordered it accordingly. It was pleasant to find little pieces of some chopped up sourdough bread to munch on while my bruschetta was being prepared. They do not provide full table service here. You simply order at the relevant counter, and follow the chefs instructions. In the case of my bruschetta, they told me it will take three minutes to prepare. Fantastic then. I wait patiently, and integrity rules. My bruschetta did not take long at all.
The downstairs bar was ever so enticing. They also have a bar upstairs, yet that was closed on this occasion. Red wine and pizza for me marry together nicely, and I did not want too much to drink. I was hungry if anything. Therefore I went for a small glass of house red ($7.50), and that turned out to be more than enough grape goodness.
Simultaneously, the jars of desserts were super enticing, especially the panna cotta ($5.90) with some berry coulis on top. The coulis was not sweet, and I enjoyed the creaminess of the panna cotta. The texture was beautiful to the tongue indeed. My partner passed on the sweet treat, yet it was great to share the bruschetta together. Drinks wise, he adored his Skinny Latte. For the latter, I apologise, I did not pay attention to the cost. My man chose to pay for today's awesome lunch.
Naturally, we ended up sharing a salami pizza ($14.90), and that was a smart decision. At the pizza counter, you're asked to pick up a buzzer/pager while your order is being taken. My man ended up picking up the delicious pizza when it was ready. The serving size was just right between us. It would be great if the toppings were a little thicker, yet gourmet was the order of the day.
The queues to be fed (especially at the pasta bar) were extended when we left one hour later. The payment process was seamless. We could help ourselves to some gummi bears at the front counter if we wanted to. Nope, I passed on this sweet sensation.