The are some cherished traditions that come with the holidays and make all the rushed shopping, crowded malls and endless “to do” lists all worth it. Every December as I count down days to Christmas, I also know that just a few days before we unwrap the gifts we are going to once again revisit a tradition of our Christmas Lunch Date.
Every year in late December we leave the hustle and bustle of the office life and disappear into a beautiful, festive CinCin restaurant for a lunch meal that we then remember for the rest of the year. We have not changed the location of our Christmas date, even though there is a myriad of worthy and inviting restaurants all around Vancouver. The reason is simple, from first steps into the restaurant hallway, as we go up the stairs, and into the warm terracotta walls of Cin Cin we get magically immediately transported into the rich, warm and golden feeling of Italian Christmas. Christmas lights, intricate decorations, golden light, wooden stove – the atmosphere is warm and relaxing and we are ushered to the table by the window- stark contrast between the grey rain outside and golden warmth of where we are.
We are introduced to the seasonal special – irresistible burrata appetizer with truffle oil and micro greens salad. Suggested by the knowledgeable staff – professional, unobtrusive, knowledgeable of every detail of the menu and the wine list. Mushroom and chestnut soup is velvety and stunning in its simplicity. Specialty dishes are made in the wood burning stove – moist and tender inside and with the golden crust outside. We’ve tried the roasted pork with the crackling skin and octopus over polenta and a chicken over mashed potatoes. Both dishes were amazing – balanced and luxurious and rich in taste and textures. Finished with a shared desert – a tiny caramel apple tart – a perfect finish to a memorable date.
The room fills up with more people – some holding holiday meetings with clients, some meeting up with the friends for another once-a-year tradition, and then others picked this place for a lunch date, just like us. Gifts (maybe gold and diamond earrings just like these) and hugs are being exchanged, champagne poured into glasses and it truly feels like a perfect Christmas gathering. Definitely a tradition to be continued.