Swanky new Italian restaurant joins the ranks in Burnaby Heights

Burnaby NOW

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Burrata and argula at the newly-opened La Forchetta in Burnaby Heights. Photo by Chris Campbell/Burnaby NOW

The Burnaby Heights neighbourhood that I grew up in was almost exclusively Italian.

Delis, markets and restaurants – all with an Italian flair – were everywhere in the 1970s. I’m happy to say that while the Heights has expanded its roster of restaurants with some welcome global cuisine, the area is still teeming with Italian food.

We just saw the opening of the excellent Sopra Sotto on Hastings at Gilmore to go with La Villetta, Baci, Cioffi’s, L’Artista, Anton’s, Fiordilatte gelato and more starting from Boundary and heading east.

At the eastern far end – technically Capitol Hill – is Cotto.

And now we have La Forchetta – a modern Italian restaurant on Hastings, just west of Holdom.

The owners gutted the old Da Mario restaurant and have come up with a swanky and refined restaurant that offers a range of dishes from pastas to pizza. The renovations are seriously good.

I went on opening day, Thursday October 17, for lunch and ended up having some appetizers that were fantastic.

First up with some silky burrata cheese with tomatoes, arugula and olive oil. The cheese was extraordinary. If you haven’t tried burrata before, it’s fresh Italian cow milk cheese made from mozzarella and cream. It’s just so soft and wonderful.

Grilled octopus at La Forchetta. Photo by Chris Campbell/Burnaby NOW

Next up was grilled octopus with creamy potatoes and grilled zucchini.

I topped things off with tiramisu.

I’ve been watching the progress of La Forchetta ever since the sign went up a couple of months. Now that it’s open, I realize is was totally worth the wait.

La Forchetta is located at 5601 Hastings Street in Burnaby