Yahoo!! Il Centro The Best Italian Pizzas In Calgary & for that matter Western Canada
The Chef and owner is Fedele he is a master pizza maker to say the least. We had a large Stagioni...it was like being back in Italy again. What a spectacular thin crust pizza, full of flavor, fresh ingredients and sauce that only he can make because he makes it from his heart. The other items on the menu looked awesome and they have my favorite Homemade Gnocchi which I will try on my next visit.
We can hardly wait to go back.
If your in Calgary give this place a try, it will instantly be a favorite.
Oh ya....if you catch him on a good day he sings to...lol
I had a very different experience at Il Centro.
The short version: awful service. Hot, stuffy restaurant with zero ventilation. Rude waitress. Excellent pizza. Get take out.
The long version: It's hard to describe what an awful dining experience I had at this restaurant. We were there for a family event, at a table of six. Three of us showed up and were seated at a table. For 15 minutes we sat there, in the very stifling heat (hot ovens, no windows opened), watching as the waitress and two waiters passed by us again and again, ignoring us. We watched as people who arrived after we did get near-immediate service. I can only assume that we were ignored because it was clear the other members of our party weren't there yet. But why not take our drink orders at the very least? Or get an appetizer started? When our friends showed up, we waited for another five minutes, and were still being ignored by the staff.
I eventually got the attention of the waitress and asked her if we could get her to take our order because we hadn't been served yet - she literally sneered at me. I've never experienced anything like that in my life at a restaurant. I simply wanted to get some drinks and order an appetizer, and she abruptly informed the table that the kitchen was "crazy" and we had to order all of our food at once. That made for a slightly uncomfortable feeling as we quickly had to decide what we wanted to order.
Our drinks came in a few minutes. Who serves a can of cold pop without ice in the glass? Il Centro does. Then our Calamari came - and they brought two orders instead of one. The waitress knew we only ordered one, but she asked us if it was OK that we had two orders - after we had already started eating from both plates (I thought they just split up one order on two plates). What was I supposed to say at that point? The Calamari was very good, I'll say that much, but at any other restaurant they would have recognized it was their mistake and only charged us for one. Not at Il Centro.
Our food eventually came, and the pizza was very good - probably some of the best I've ever had outside of Rome. But the events leading up to that first bite of pizza were so irritating it was hard to fully enjoy the food. The waitress never returned to ask us if we wanted anything else, or how the food was. As we were nearing the end of the meal one of our party flagged down a waiter (since our waitress was ignoring us) and asked for another beer for himself and someone else at our table. 15 minutes passed, we had finished eating, and those drinks never came.
We waited another 20 minutes or so, and our waitress never came to clear the plates or ask us if we wanted anything else (coffee, dessert, etc.). The heat inside the restaurant was awful. I caught her on the way back from another table and asked for the bill. She came back with it, we paid, and we left. I didn't leave a tip - if I could have left a negative tip, I would have. It takes truly awful service for me to not leave a tip, but this experience more than qualified.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention this one other point: there were a lot of Italian-looking people at the restaurant. I took that as a good sign that the food was authentic. As the evening wore on, I couldn't help but notice the attention lavished on the people who looked to be of Italian descent - their tables got multiple visits throughout their meal, they were served immediately, and many were greeting with enthusiastic hand-shakes at the door. Everyone else, us included, were treated like we were intruders at a family gathering. Il Centro has many regulars it seems, but I'm certainly not going to be one of them.
Maybe if you're Italian you'll have had a completely different dining experience and enjoy this restaurant, but I'll never go back there again.
It truly is a bizarre place. Just a non-descript, Calgary, industrial area lunch hole. Il Centro is like Thom Yorke, an ugly, bitter, old douchebag that produces beautiful art (in the form of pizza). Clearly the owners have no interest in "becoming a million dollar business" which is fine. I just don't think they know what a unique gem they have, nor do they care. They probably pull an honest $100k out of there a year and that is A-OK. If they only realized that Pizza 73 has 187 locations in Calgary and sells reams of complete crap. I respect that they don;t care but selfishly I wish they franchised out so I could eat it twice a week and so does my cardiologist (I actually have a cardiologist so that is not some metaphorical bollocks (but in Canada Cardiologists don't profit from heart attacks so ahem)).
The hours at Il Centro are 10:00 AM to 6:00PM Monday to Thrusday.
Friday its 10:00 AM To 10:00PM and Saturday its 12:00 Noon to 10:00 PM.
I agree if your in a hurray and you go to Il Centro you could be in trouble. He makes everything fresh there so you do have to wait. It is more like the restaurants in Italy. They do nothing in a hurray but you make the experience fun with food, talk and laughter. We look forward to not be rushed and thats one of the reasons we like it there.
On Friday and Saturday nights you can call in advance and he will prepare you just about anything Italian that you would like. His customers love that.
I had peppercorn steak and pasta there last night (which I had to request when I made the reservation 2 days ago) and it was probably the best steak I have had in Calgary for a long time.
He must be doing something right because on Fridays and Saturdays its impossible to get in without a reservation.
A reservation is a must now. I liked it better when he wasn't so busy but then thats whats its all about.
John Gilchrist (a local food critic) has been there 3 weeks in a row. He sat across from us last night and we had a great conversation about Fedele's.
We are going back tonight for his specialty Gnocchi which is my favorite pasta.
I so whole heartedly agree with your review.
How times have changed from 2007 to now.
This was my second visit there and both went about the same....
The Pizza was great , after waiting an hour for it !
The service was terrible , the owner ( I know because I asked the waiter who he was)
was short ,bordering on rude.
I guess making too many pizzas has jaded this guy.
This was my last time there , I plan to vote with my money and take some stress off these poor over worked folks.
6036 3 St SW #106, Calgary, AB T2H 0H9, CA
hrm, everyone raves about this pizza. it's "ok," and i think most of the hype comes from the fact that calgary has such a poor pizza scene.
also, the service at Il Centro is usually terrible. i would suggest getting take out, but if you do want to dine, be prepared for a wait and try to avoid the italian woman. she is very, very rude.
I agree that Il Centro is pretty awesome, as is Fidele. Miles clued everyone in once he moved to Il Centro a few years ago.
My only beef? Their hours! It's really far for me to get there at lunch, and they seem to close at 6pm A LOT.
I assume you went for lunch and not dinner? Or have their hours changed?