Jul. 11, 2012 - Issue #873: The Big Cover-Up
Nefeli's Ristorante does traditional just right
5940 - 153 Ave
Tucked away in a strip mall in the northeast end of the city is a cozy little place known as Nefeli's Ristorante, a place that prides itself on top-notch Italian cuisine as well as making each and every guest feel like family.
Nefeli's opened its doors in November 2011, but has quickly built up a loyal following of customers via its excellent word of mouth reviews, which speak just as highly of the service as they do the food. The testaments of praise continue in messages covering the restaurant's walls, all penned by customers.
Behind the culinary delight are business partners Chad Protasiewich, who spent 15 years dealing in customer service in the car industry before following his dreams of owning a restaurant, and Joseph Jamal Eddine, an industry veteran who not only keeps his guests entertained, but cooks all the dishes from scratch.
"The art of cooking is cooking with love," Eddine says.
It is evident that Eddine thoroughly enjoys what he does. He comes in each day at 2 pm to make sauces and doing all of the prep work before the doors open at 5 pm. Each dish that passes through the kitchen from his cooks, who take care of the finishing touches, must pass Eddine's inspection. During business hours, Eddine and Protasiewich are out entertaining guests, mimicking the social dining experience in Italy.
"When you're in Italy, it's not just eating it's more of an event," says Protasiewick, who spent a month there last summer. "We don't want you to eat and run. We want you to take your time, get to know us ... people go out to eat before an event, but we want them to go out to eat and make that their night."
As for the food, expect pasta that leans towards the traditional. Less is more when it comes to sauce and each dish blends together fresh, simple ingredients and are served in heaping portions. Guests can start off a meal with classic bruschetta or jumbo tiger prawns pan seared in butter and garlic, which have become customer favourite.
Pasta dishes, which Eddine adds are all gluten-free, range from standards like tortellini, arrabiatta and penne, spaghetti, angel hair or
fettucini with house-made tomato, cream or tomato-cream sauce to speciality creations. Penne putanesca, which is pasta sautéed with mushrooms, capers, bell peppers, black olives and beef tenderloin strips with some added spice from jalapeño peppers finished off with tomato sauce and parmesan cheese is one such
creation that the restaurant has become known for, along with the carbonara. Eddine says this is a dish that requires special attention and the end result is a flavourful blend of pasta, smokey bacon, mushrooms, garlic, parmesan cheese and egg garnished with fresh basil.
Nefeli's also offers catering for events from weddngs serving 400 people to small family gatherings, offering a wide selection of pasta, salads and entrees, as well as desserts such as the housemade tiramisu.
"We love the public, that's why we're in the business," Eddine adds. vueweekly.com comments: powered by Disqus
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