The rumours are true: One of Vancouver's most popular Italian restaurants, Savio Volpe, is going to have a new sibling dining destination.
Osteria Elio Volpe is moving into a former mechanic shop in Cambie Village, with plans to open this winter.
Located at 540 W 17th Ave, Elio Volpe will boast 115 seats in a 4,200-square-foot space with an open-air dining room with a bar with wrap-around seating. The design of the restaurant is being done by Ste Marie Studio, which likewise is behind Savio Volpe's modern "country tavern" look.
Both restaurants share a surname of sorts, Volpe, which means fox. Whereas "savio" translates to "wise," "elio" in literal translation is "helium," which in this case is more conceptual.
“Where Savio Volpe is wise and suave, Elio Volpe is young, carefree and curious,” said Paul Grunberg, who opened Savio Volpe with longtime business partner Craig Stanghetta (Ste Marie Studio) in 2015. The business partners, who also operate La Tana and Pepino's on The Drive, have branded their growing restaurant group Banda Volpi.
Banda Volpi considers Savio and Elio "close cousins," they most certainly are not twins and this isn't a "Savio 2.0" scenario.
“Each of our restaurants has a distinct personality and sense of place, and with Elio Volpe, we’re taking cues from Italy’s storied south, with its famed coasts and islands, rich history, and relaxed lifestyle,” added Stanghetta in a media release. “Where Savio is rustic and regional, Elio celebrates the best ingredients from the Pacific Northwest as inspired by il mezzogiorno, the ancient seafaring term for the wind from the south, now colloquially used to describe that part of the country.”
To that end, culinary director Phil Scarfone is working on guiding a menu of "bold and briny flavours" featuring dishes such as squid ink linguine al granchio e vongole (crab and clams) or a lemony risotto with sea urchin alongside crispy-crust Roman-style pizza.
Elio Volpe is joining a neighbourhood that is enjoying a bit of a renaissance, particularly when it comes to restaurants. Neighbour Black Walnut opened this summer and is raising the profile of the stretch of Cambie from about 12th to 18th. Elio Volpe will also join Potluck, with its casual modern Southeast Asian menu, and ice cream favourite Rain or Shine. Further north you'll find the home of Michelin-recognized Vij's, and, just beyond there, the Michelin-starred Quan Ju De restaurant. There's also the former Biercraft space to keep an eye on Cambie at 17th, which could end up occupied by yet another exciting restaurant addition to the neighbourhood.
As work continues to build out Elio Volpe, you can follow the restaurant's journey on Instagram at @elio.volpe.