When Acquafarina opened in late 2020, the upscale downtown Vancouver Italian restaurant was shrouded in a bit of a mystery.
Instead of the usual barrage of opening comments via Instagram photos, blog posts and TikToks offering glimpses inside the operation and food, Acquafarina started with a firm “no cell phone” policy. “Photos or it didn’t happen” just didn’t apply, because no one was allowed to take photos.
Now more than a year in business (and a recent two-week suspension of the cell phone ban), Acquafarina says it’s ready to let customers bring their phones to the table…they just have to be polite. about. Diners are asked to turn off their doorbells and exit to the lobby to receive or make calls.
“The response to our two-week phone test was amazing,” says owner Fabrizio Foz in an email from the restaurant. “Everyone loved it. The power was electric. The room felt good.”
“It’s time to let the ban go,” adds Foz.
Foz notes that the origin of the phone-free ban stemmed from the uncertainty surrounding Acquafarina’s first weeks and months, given pandemic-related public health measures that restricted indoor dining operations.
The restaurateur, who also owns Yaletown’s popular Per Se Social Corner, also notes that Acquafarina’s identity was also a bit uncertain at first. Fox explains.
In fact, in November 2020, we noticed that what we thought was going to be a pizza-focused spot called Water + Flour had actually morphed into what we now know as Acquafarina.
At that time, too, Acquafarina’s dining experience focused on a tasting menu, although a la carte options were available.
Now, however, the options are expanding even further at the restaurant, and they have a new local veteran overseeing the kitchen.
In addition to dinner service, with an extensive a la carte menu now available along with a tasting menu that rotates monthly, Acquafarina will now be open for lunch and snack hours (a “happy hour” food and drink option for the afternoon). The new culinary director is Jefferson Alvarez, whom Vancouver foodies will recognize as co-chef/operator of Kitsilano’s Latin Fueled Cacao and chef of the former Secret Location restaurant in Gastown.
Big changes at Acquafarina are now in effect, so you can expect to see more photos online of people’s dining adventures at the chic downtown restaurant.
Acquafarina is located at 425 W. Georgia St in Vancouver