1641 Commercial Dr, Vancouver BC V5L 3Y3
I happen to be on Commercial Drive running an errand around dinner time and decided pizza made the most sense, as it usually does. My partner suggested Lombardo’s – a joint that’s been part of The Drive and Italian community there for a long time, and such located right in Il Mercato on the corner of 1st Ave.
We walked over just after 7:30PM, and while there were a few people in line for pick-up orders, the restaurant was quiet with only one other table occupied. After we were sat, a few other tables joined and the restaurant was busier, though I’m certain not to it’s former pre-Covid capacity. I do recall seeing a line-up out of the door for Lombardo’s back in the day, especially on a Saturday evening.
I started with a glass of Chianti, a nice Italian red to go with some food. It was decent but not anything to write home about (I know, I’m old now and say things like this), though it wasn’t too expensive. They also have daily drink specials and Saturday’s was Sangria for $6.
We started with a caprese salad – with bocconcini, tomatoes, onions, basil, and capers, with a balsamic reduction. I thought the capers were a nice touch and gave the dish a bit of salt to balance the sweetness of the tomato and reduction while highlighting the creaminess of the soft cheese. I enjoyed this dish for its freshness and simplicity.
For our mains, we decided to double-up and share a pizza and pasta so started with a Capriccoisa pizza. which had salami, ham, artichokes, mushrooms and olives. The pizza was huge for a medium and had a crispy, thin crust. This crust is a bit different than you’d find at other pizzerias. It was not a doughy or chewy and was closer to a flatbread than a heavy, bread-forward pizza. I really enjoyed the crust style. The toppings were plentiful and the meats were not too salty.
We made our own pasta dish by selecting from their pastas, sauces, and add-ons. I love a thin and flat noodle so went straight to the tagliatelle. I’m a huge pesto fan too so we decided on their creamy version, though I would have preferred a straight-up pesto. We added chopped chicken for some protein. The pasta was done al-dente and in my opinion, cooked perfectly. The sauce was creamy but light, not very pesto-heavy in flavour. This dish was not salty either, which can be the case with both cream and pesto based sauces. We sprinkled some Parmesan on top and it was perfect.
It ended up being a lot of food – for two people and we left carrying two pizza slices. To be honest, I didn’t need to eat all of the pasta either. But it was just to good to take as left-overs.
Our server was lovely and sweet – she chatted with us briefly between dropping off food and quality checking our food. As I mentioned, the restaurant is located in Il Mercato which doubles as a marketplace and plaza with other shops. Though the tables are set up as if they were outside on a patio/sidewalk, the scenery is a closed mall which had some questionable characters walking around after hours. If they could transplant this out onto the actual street of Commercial Drive, it be a whole other vibe.
Overall, I really liked Lombardo’s for their pizza and pasta and will be coming back. It’s up there on my list of pizza joints in the city for sure!
- Ruffino Chianti $8.50
- Caprese Salad $9
- Custom Pasta, Full Portion (Tagliatelle + Creamy Pesto) $17, Add Chopped Chicken +$6
- Capricciosa Pizza, Medium $17
Beats: Double Up – Nipsey Hussle Feat. Belly & Dom Kennedy