A mixed bag for Gastown's Cuchillo, getting a tickle under the chin from the Sun's Mia Stainsby and a slap in the face from the Globe and Mail's Alexandra Gill. Bafflingly, Stainsby spends almost 100 words discussing the chef's cats:
Edge carries over to Irving's domestic life where he is a big cat fan. And by that I mean the cats are big. He owns a Savannah (big-eared African cat) and a Bengal (part Asian-leopard cat, with rabbity ears). Both are about 30 pounds.
"They're super-friendly, like big lambs," he says. But they're definitely indoor cats and Irving has built them a series of caged catwalks from his windows. "If I let them loose, they would possibly never come back." And, they would not be dining on tacos
Only a salad gets less than a purring response from Stainsby, "... the jicama, cucumber and Asian pear with Cajun lime vinaigrette, a good palate-cleansing dish... but otherwise, not an exciting ride for flavours." awarding it an overall 4.5/5 score.
It's a different story at the Globe and Mail with Alexandra Gill earning her 'Knife' nickname stating:
Co-owner Stu Irving, formerly executive chef at Cobre and Wild Rice, is a local pioneer of fusion cuisine. And there's nothing wrong with fusion cuisine if it's executed well....Acidity is one of the basics. And at Cuchillo, those tart, tangy, often indecipherable yet unmistakable notes are missing in action all across the menu. As a dining destination, well, I don't recommend it.
Pulled duck tacos are "flacid and heavy" and a Lois Lake steelhead trout ceviche "not even ceviche... the thick slabs of fish with telltale brown edges look and taste like they have been grilled." No overall score but at least everyone agrees on one thing: the room with its neon skulls looks good.
· This Restaurant Definitely Needs Sharpening [Globe & Mail]
· Cuchillo Offers Great Latin Food and a Packed House [Vancouver Sun]
· Cuchillo [Official Site]