Mercato in Mission
Aug13

Mercato in Mission

Mercato has been on my bucket list of places to eat in Calgary for quite some time.  I’m really not sure why it took me so long to get here, usually I make last minute decisions to go eat and every time I try to get in here it’s fully booked.  Obviously a good sign.  You can make reservations for Mercato on Open Table.  It’s quite nice in Mercato, casual setting with a completely open kitchen and a patio.  The waiter was very helpful in helping us make some decisions truly guiding us in the right direction on how much food to order, the food here is meant to be eaten family style. On our first visit to Mercato we went with 2 Antipasti’s, a Pasta course, a Meat Course, 2 sides and desserts for the four of us.  For the first course we went with the Caprese (fresh buffalo milk mozzarella with tomatoes, grilled scallions and salsa di pinoli) the tomatoes were beautiful, I loved the touch of grilled scallions and the mozzarella was tender, moist and the best I’ve ever had.  With the Caprese we also started with the small order of Antipasti (Chef’s selection of salumi, cheeses, and Italian appetizers) this was delicious, with a nice selection of a couple cheeses, reduced balsamic vinegar, some stuffed peppers and the mortadella was tasty. For our pasta course we had the special of the night which was the Hand rolled Gnocchi with ground rib eye in a tomato sauce, I didn’t know gnocchi could be this good, every time I’ve tried it before it was never my favourite but now, oh so good!  I was tempted to lick the spoon in the end but the rest of the table wouldn’t let me…well actually Fuzzy was egging me on to do it. Our third course I couldn’t wait for, it was the Bistecca (Fiorentina style rib steak with lemons, arugula and olio verdone) which we order the small cut.  The sides that came on the butcher block which we ordered were the Funghi (Seasonal mixed mushrooms with olive oil, garlic and crushed peperoncino) and Asparagi (Charred asparagus spears wrapped in Prosciutto di Parma with grilled lemon).  Let me start off by talking about the BEST RIB EYE i’ve ever eaten.  Wow so simple yet so good, really how can I not cook a rib eye that tastes like this?  Flavours were perfect and they had some course sea salt on the side which I sprinkled on to add a bit of crunch.  WOW let me say it again WOW!!!  Then you dip into the mushrooms, really it is the...

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La Brezza Fundraiser Night
Oct06

La Brezza Fundraiser Night

A fellow foodie, Jenn D. recently sent me an email to see if we would be interested in participating in a 5 course meal at La Brezza in Bridgeland to raise money for the Calgary Emergency Women’s Shelter, which in fact is the same charity I donate my money to at my business.  I was more than happy to attend and help out with some prizes.  Jenn ended up raising over $5000 in one evening for the shelter, simply amazing! This was my first time going to this restaurant, people have always told me the food is outstanding and Marco the owner is the nicest guy anyone could meet.  Once we walked through the front door, Marco was there to greet us, and YUP, he really is one very nice guy.  La Brezza was opened in 1987 in a house that Marco used to live in.  It is a very nice place with a comfortable feeling that makes it very inviting to be there. This 5 Course meal started off with the Bruschetta – Diced fresh Roma tomatoes, garlic, Jalapeno peppers, marinated with fresh Italian herbs&, olive oil served with fresh baked focaccia bread, this was nice and fresh tasting, I had to gobble up all the bread and bruschetta.  The second course was the Signature calamari with eggplant parmesan, calamari was cooked well and had quite a kick to them.  The eggplant parmesan was really tasty and one of my favourites of the night.  Third course was Cannelloni – Family recipe which has home-made crepes filled with cheese, herbs, mushrooms and beef and baked in a rose sauce, this one was my #1, soooo good! The Fourth  course consisted of the Pollo Funghi – Chicken breast with fresh wild Italian mushrooms in a white wine cream sauce, chicken cooked well and flavours were good.  The final course is the dessert, already stuffed by then I bucked up and ate the wonderful Tiramisu which is Momma Angela’s famous tiramisu layers of rich mascarpone pastry cream with coffee and tia maria soaked ladyfingers, Mmmmmm. I’m excited to return to La Brezza to sit down and try the rest of their menu.  The food that was presented to us this evening was delicious, tasted like home cooking, with great ingredients and fresh flavours.  I wouldn’t hesitate recommending this place to any of my friends. What’s in Front of Me:...

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La Brezza’s 5 Course Authentic Italian Dinner
Sep09

La Brezza’s 5 Course Authentic Italian Dinner

Please help us support a charity very near and dear to La Brezza; the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter. Join us for a fundraiser on Thursday September 22. Thank you Calgary and looking forward to seeing you there.  Details to purchase tickets are below....

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Bonterra Trattoria in the outdoor garden
Jul30

Bonterra Trattoria in the outdoor garden

I took my wife here for part 2 of our 5th wedding anniversary.  One of my foodie friends @thisiserwin highly suggested we come here for our special night.  Located on 8th St and 10th Ave SW with parking in the back, lies this amazing Italian restaurant.  I had a few places reserved because I wasn’t sure where to go and I can tell you I am so happy I listened to experience this fantastic place. We came early around 5:30pm, you can make reservations at Bonterra but to sit in their absolutely beautiful covered garden patio with high walls is first come first serve.  The atmosphere of this garden patio takes you away from a back alley, parking lot, Calgary, Canada and etc, I really felt like I was somewhere different and special.  I’ve never been to Italy but I’m hoping this is what it’s like. The service here is excellent, very attentive and personable.  It’s nice to come to a place where they can help with what to order, recommendations and super friendly. We started off with a couple appetizers, the Fresh Oysters, Insalata Cato (Caesar Salad w/grapes) and a cheese and tomato salad.  The oysters were nice and fresh, the toppings for it was interesting, a different twist, good but not my absolute favourite.  The salads were beautiful, fresh and delicious. Our mains consisted of Pesto Gnocci and a Clams Fettuccine.  Both were so good, it’s even hard to describe.  The Clams Fettuccine I must stand up right now and give a standing ovation.  I even kept a piece of bread just so I can wipe up all the flavours after I was done the plate.  I could eat this dish everyday.  It made me love clams again.  I’ve always liked them but I ate so many as a kid, I’ve never really appreciated them again till now. The two desserts we had but they were some of the nicest, freshest and lightest desserts we’ve had in a long time, one was a mascarpone cheese with berries dessert and the other was a pistachio panna cotta.  The berries were fresh and perfectly ripe.  All the flavours of both desserts were outstanding.  You can see the pics of them below. This restaurant is somewhat kid friendly, I dont’ think they have a dedicated menu for kids but I did see many children here even a fresh new born. Fresh Oysters Tomato Salad Insalata Cato Clams Fettuccine Pesto Gnocci Berries and Mascarpone Pistachio Panna Cotta...

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Il Sogno
Mar13

Il Sogno

Restaurant: Il Sogno Cuisine: Italian Date Visited: March 11, 2011 Location: 24 4th Street NE, Calgary Hours: Lunch Monday to Friday 11:30am – 2pm   Supper: Monday to Saturday starting at 5pm  Closed Sundays Contact: 403-232-8901     www.ilsogno.org Overall Rating: Rating Scale 1. Yuck 2. I’m eating it but won’t order again 3. This is good 4. This is really good worth recommending 5. OMG I need to facebook and tweet about this and can’t stop thinking about it Food: 5/5 Service: 5/5 Ambiance: 5/5 Overall: 5/5 Additional Comments: Consumers Choice Best Italian 2010 Celebrating 10 years Reservations recommended and can reserve on opentable.com Parking available behind restaurant Street parking available This stop on the Big Taste Downtown Calgary tour was for my birthday supper.  I’ve heard many good things about this restaurant and have always wanted to try it, sad thing is that it has been around for 10 years and it’s only my first time.  I’m generally not a huge Italian food buff but after previewing the menu online, I knew I was in for a real treat. The atmosphere is very nice, bistro style, with a small bar at the front.  There were 10 of us for the dinner and we got a nice roomy table in the front by the window.  The service was excellent from the moment we walked in the door, checking our coats in, all the way to our waiter holding the door for us to leave.  Being a small restaurant, there was no shortage of service and attention to every detail was made. There was quite a few outstanding dishes that we had this evening.  The Lamb Meatballs were out of this world, the calamari was beautiful and the sauce was to die for, the gnocchi (everyone just kept saying, OMG this is soooooo good), mussels on a bed of pasta was very delicious, and the best side was the thinly sliced breaded zucchini with melted cheese in tomato sauce.  Our main dishes were absolutely perfect, everything cooked to perfection and made just how they were described in the menu.  As for dessert, you can just look at my pictures and you’ll know great they tasted. What’s in Front of Us: First Course: Lamb Calamari Parsnip Second Course: Gnocchi Mussels Wild Boar Ravioli Third Course: Pork Beef Lamb Desserts:...

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Giuseppe’s Italian Deli and Market
Feb10

Giuseppe’s Italian Deli and Market

      Restaurant:  Giuseppe’s Italian Deli and Market Cuisine: Italian, Market and Deli Date Visited: February 2, 2011 Location: 1207 1st Street SW Hours: Monday to Friday 7am to close, Saturday and Sunday 9:30am to close Contact: 403-232-6230   www.giuseppesitalianmarket.com Price Range: $5 to $30                                        Overall Rating: Rating Scale (1. Yuck, 2. I’m eating it but won’t order again, 3. This is good, 4. This is really good worth recommending, 5. OMG I need to facebook and tweet about this and can’t stop thinking about it) Food: 3.5/5 Service: 3/5 Ambiance: 4/5 Overall: 3.5/5 Additional Comments: I’ve been told it’s a good place to get an Italian sandwich  Lots of street pay parking, free after 6pm  Nice place for coffee, a quick bite, some small grocery shopping, and upstairs is the dining room  Our service was extremely slow, more so the food part of things  Nice ambiance and clean  Lots of different pizza’s, pasta’s and other dishes  For Chinese New Years, my mother wanted to make sure we went out to celebrate, oddly enough she picks an Italian place.  She has been to Guiseppe’s before and has enjoyed the food here.  Instead of lugging the kids to a busy Chinese restaurant for New Year’s celebration, she decides on a quieter restaurant. The restaurant is nice, it is upstairs from the market, deli, casual dining area.  You are served some nice bread and olives to start.  We ordered the kids a four cheese pizza, they didn’t mind it except they didn’t like a certain type of cheese on the pizza.  The service was friendly but the food coming out was dreadfully slow being we were one of the first groups to arrive and order there.  We were able to keep the kids entertained down in the market place looking at things.  I was able to peek into the kitchen to see what the hold up was, there was only one guy cooking back there. I apologize in advance because I failed to write down the names of these dishes. What’s In Front Of Me: Bread and Olives: 4/5   Four Cheese Pizza: 4/5   Salmon Entree: 4/5 Nicely cooked salmon which sat on top of asparagus and risotto   Pasta Entree: 3.5/5 Good taste very peppery...

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