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Cuchillo Brings It To The DTES

cuchillo vancouver

On Powell, where the DTES, Railtown, not-quite Gastown, and Japantown meet is Cuchillo, a recently opened Latin-inspired tapas joint. Driving along Powell, I always notice the illuminated skull, which is the restaurant’s logo, from the street. I could never catch a glimpse of what was inside the long, dark space so I chalked it up to being an art studio. Recently, however, my mom was going on about this restaurant her and my dad just couldn’t get into. I googled Cuchillo, and there was the infamous skull! I made reservations for the boyfriend and I the next night and this is where the journey begins…

First, it is worth mentioning the beauty of the restaurant itself. It is a long room, with seats for two along one wall, a huge communal table in the center of the dining space, and a bar along the other wall. With dark wood accents and dim lighting provided by round, rustic chandeliers, the restaurant lives up its declaration of being the “sexiest space in the city”.

Now, onto the more important stuff – FOOD! My boyfriend and I can seriously eat so we decided to order three dishes each and share. Last time we went to a tapas place we left hungry and ended up at Nero’s Waffle Bar. Anyways, the first thing we ordered was the albacore tuna ceviche. I am picky about my tuna and this dish did not disappoint! The tuna was cut super thick and the portion was very generous. Under the tuna were two tortilla chips with a dense spicy sauce mixed with cilantro. Wait – it gets better! Under the chips was a warm mix of what we decided was bacon and potatoes. The coldness of the tuna, the crunch of the tortilla, and the warm of the bacon-potato mix truly made this dish memorable!

cuchillo vancouver

Next, came the tacos! I feel tacos are having a moment in Vancouver; obviously I had to try every single one featured on the menu! All tacos were served on two corn tortillas. First to come out was a vegetarian option with chickpea, wild mushroom, a touch of rice, and some sprouts. These were fantastic. The chickpea spread made the taco filling, while the mushrooms were grilled and sautéed to create chewy little pieces. After that came the pulled-pork tacos. I hadn’t eaten pulled-pork in months (after overdosing) so I was basically salivating all over the platter. The portion was so huge that I couldn’t even close the taco! The pork was super tender and the mango papaya salsa added a spicy kick. Next to come out were the lamb tacos. All I need to say about these is this: THEY HAD POPCORN ON TOP OF THEM! How cool is that? Again, the meat was super tender with subtle hints of parmesan, while the popcorn gave the taco a nice crunch! Last but not least were the duck tacos. I have never tried duck previously so I wasn’t too sure what to expect. What appeared was pieces of meat that were very reminiscent of turkey. This taco had a blackberry jam on top so it reminded me of a Thanksgiving dinner! Finally, to top of this taco were crispy duck feet – perfect!

cuchillo vancouver

Just writing this has made me realize how special Cuchillo really is. It is definitely worth a stroll up Powell to eat here and the place is such an asset to the Vancouver food scene! Needless to say, this is one tapas joint were you will not leave hungry. When I got home I explained everything I ate to my mom, she just about turned green with envy!

Take a look at their full menu by visiting their website: www.cuchillo.ca

Written by: Micaela Monk

Cuchillo on Urbanspoon

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