I love the atmosphere at Verve Cafe. Set underground, beneath the Metro Arts building, it’s a dark little venue, frequently noisy, with a bar towards the back, and a congregation of smokers out near the back stairs. I generally go there for weekday lunches (it’s much more crowded in the evening), and always for the pasta, which is divine (and reasonably priced, at around $15 to $18).
This week my companions both had the carbonara, while I tried something new with the chicken and basil linguine above. We all started with the herb bread, which is fantastic – four slices of bread with a gorgeously thick mixture of herbs and garlic slathered on top. The linguine was delicious – cheesy, and a lovely mix of flavours. It was a little oily though, with a residue left in the bottom of the plate. The carbonara was pronounced delicious. Next time I’m determined to try one of the pastas that involves alcohol – there are several on the menu with either vodka or brandy in the sauce.
Verve has a nice selection of cocktails, including my favourite which involves lychee liquor (I adore lychees), but I try to stay away from cocktails during my lunch hour, unless I’m having a particularly bad day. The verdict – Verve is a fabulous place for workday lunches, but not for the claustrophobic.