No. 9-2, Jianguo N. Road, Sec 2
website: http://www.canoviano.com.tw/ Chinese only
hours: lunch: 12-3 pm
dinner: 6-10 pm
closed the last Sunday of every month
Kid friendliness: business/romantic ambience not suited for loud toddlers/kids unless you book private room upstairs or have very well behaved kid. no high chairs. only set menu
Visit reviewed: 3/27/2008
My friend called it Italian Japanese fusion and after a little bit of googling, it turns out it was opened by a Japanese chef who didn't want to use "butter, garlic or cream," traditionally found in Italian cooking, but instead bring out the natural flavors of the meat and vegetables and has already opened Canoviano with a loyal following in Tokyo and Kyoto.
If you want to try out Canoviano, be prepared to get the set menu as they only offer a set menu (in Chinese) with choice of main dish. However, the portions are on the small side, so my girlfriends said their husbands left not completely full after their previous dinner experience.
Everything is beautifully prepared and presented, with light, natural flavors. The atmosphere is a white linen, high ceilings setting perfect for ladies that lunch, business meeting you need to impress or even a romantic dinner, especially with prices like NT$1380 for six course lunch.
Before our food came, they served bread rolls to each person, but not on bread plates. They said it was on purpose that they wanted the crumbs to be on the table (more rustic?), but it just felt kind of messy and out of sync with the rest of the experience.
The meal started with an angel hair with sweet shrimp and roe that left you wanting a bit more. The pumpkin soup was a pond for the grilled fish that laid upon it.
They served different desserts to our large party, without asking what we wanted, so we oohed and aahed as each elegant plate came out and passed each around to taste. Surprisingly, they did a good job choosing the right dessert for each person. I liked my caramel ice cream, atop chocolate mousse and sliced bananas the best, as they also gave it a slight caramelization creme-brulee style.
The other desserts had other unusual flavors of ice cream (green tea, rose) and looked too sculpture-like to eat.
The menu changes daily as the chef uses what's seasonal, (with some chef's signature dishes constant), so I think I'd try it again if I wanted to splurge (or someone wanted to splurge on me!) Dinner sets run from NT$1880 to Chef's special NT$2880. If you don't want to splurge as much, but want a similar experience, you could try out the business lunch or set dinner at Joyce or Joyce East which runs around NT$1000.