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Jan 18, 2008 01:34 PM

Has anyone tried Violino Gastronomia in Edmonton?

This relative newcomer is in the space formerly occupied by La Spiga.

I have read one good review but know no one who has in fact eaten there.

Yen have you been during one of your trips up here to Edmonton?

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  1. Hi Bob,

    My husband and I tried it when it first opened. We didn't realize it was so newly opened when we it was understandably a bit shaky. I think it was late Oct so this review might no longer be very accurate.

    I found the room was kind of stuffy for my tastes -- lots of fabric, heavy highback chairs... a real "old money" type of look to it. And that is who the restaurant seemed to attract the night we were there: gentlemen diners in crested blazers. I kid you not. Anyway, it might just not have been what we expected.

    Now I'm trying to remember the food...Was it a mixed green salad with pine nuts, dried cranberries?? My husband had the Insalata Caprese, which unfortunately had a few under-ripe tomato slices. Our second course was pasta, but we can't even remember what the specifics were. So, this is not a very helpful review, other than to say that overall, I had the impression that I was dining in the 1980s (decor and menu). The menu was fairly "hotel-ish" too. Our server also had a very distracting affectation of talking a la Thurston Howell the Third, and calling me "Senora" or "Madam" every time he addressed me.

    I'd be interested to know of others' experiences.

    2 Replies
    1. re: EdiblePrairieJennifer

      Restaurants really shouldn't offer insalata caprese unless it's tomato season. The dish revolves around fresh, juicy tomatoes. Even if they're imported from somewhere where they are currently in season, it still tends not to work out so well.

      1. The Tiramisu was that good. Have you had it from the Italian bakery? That's the best I've ever had.

      2. Sorry Bob, not yet. I've kind of given up on Italian in Edmonton for a while... it's hard to be consistently disappointed :)

        3 Replies
        1. re: yen

          Have you tried "Boulevard" ? I am told it is owned by the same people who had Via Vai. Is it regional Italian?

          1. re: felix the hound

            Sorry, i havent. I hadnt even heard of Boulevard until you mentioned it :) It looks like it's likely in either Scotia place or the old Empire building?

            If it's owned by the people who had Via Vai, im definitely giving it a pass. That was a west-end eatery i never liked, no matter the positive critical reviews.

            1. re: yen


              This seems to be a morning for reminiscing about spots that I used to go to a number of years ago.

              Felix, you are correct Boulevard was opened by the same duo who operated Via Vai for a relatively short while out in the west end strip mall that is now houses Royal Pizza adjacent to Theo's Ouzeria.

              It is on the main floor of Scotia Place but I do not know how it is doing as although I used to dine there at least a couple of times per week [more so lingering lunches rather than dinner] upon its opening, I have not been back in quite some time.

              It was an upscale, relatively expensive Italian spot with quite a sophisticated classy look not dissimilar to Via Vai in a "trendy" sort of way.

              What really impressed me was the attention to detail and freshness and quality of ingredienents. If you ordered a Caprese salad the tomatoes would be ripe and delicious as would be the melt in ones mouth cheese. Probably the best lamb I ever had were chops done there.

              It opened with quite a "kitchen brigade" in their open but glassed in kitchen. A lot of NAIT graduates I am assuming.

              Unfortunately, over time there was a drop off. The main chef, Patricicio Sachetto [?] who some may remember was brought up from San Francisco by Carmello Rago to originally open Sorrentino's downown was spending less time, staff numbers both in the front and the kitchen dropped off. The owner, who is a charming woman, was trying to do her best with less and less help. In fact, it reminded me very much of Via Vai toward its end.

              There are a lot of rumours that I will not comment on.

              Although I have been in the area I have not popped in. Maybe I will next week.