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Osteria de Medici Calgary

I have always wanted to try this restaurant in Kensington for the longest time. I might take my date there on Valentines day.

What are the reviews on this place??
They have the menu on their website . . .but no prices, do ppl know what the general price range is and what I'm looking as for the costs?

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  1. We've only eaten there once, and found it very overpriced (this was way pre-boom, too) with pretentious service. Of course they have their fans.

    2 Replies
    1. re: John Manzo

      I agree, overpriced old school pretentiousness. IMHO there is much better Italian to be had in Calgary: Il Sogno, Capo, Da Guido and La Brezza to name just a few. I'm sure Osteria de Medici has fans, surely they couldn't be in business this long if they didn't...I'm just not one of them.

      1. re: John Manzo

        We had dinner at Osteria this Saturday (party of 2). The food was good (on the expensive end) but the service was severly lacking. It was not busy when we arrived and the service was atrocious. I must agree with previous postings - our waiter was pretentious, and ignored us to brown-nose the 'regulars'. He never asked as if we wanted drinks, we had to flag him down to place our orders - and then he was patronizing. It was a very frustrating experience. We will not be returning.

      2. I also agree. Must be a safe haven for the glitterati because no other reason to choose them.

        1. Lob one more onto the pile. The last time i went, they refused to serve us because of the way we were dressed. Mind you, this was 4 years ago, but i don't imagine things have improved much since then. When they did serve me before that, it was overpriced.

          1. I went there about a year ago and had a great experience. The food was excellent and the service was wonderful. The server filled my wine glass several times but we were only charged for one glass. My after dinner tipsy coffee was also extremely generous on the pour. :)
            My two companions and I were all wearing jeans (no holes) and slightly dressier shirts. Also, I had a blue mohawk at the time. I saw no sign of pretentiousness.
            Maybe I was there on a good night but I would give it a shot if the food looks good to you.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jodyroo

              I don't find them pretentious but I can find better Italian food elsewhere at the same price point. I have no quibble with service.

            2. Just like entering a time machine and traveling directly to 1978. Unfortunately, you won't pay 1978 prices.

              1. Earlier this year I was given a $100 g/c to Osteria, and I decided to take a female friend out to dinner as my treat. Our server was a little overzealous at times, almost like he was trying too hard to be our best friends, but aside from that the experience was good. The food was delicious, and the service was not disappointing by any means.

                The problem came afterward. They did not apply the gift certificate to my bill, and 2 days later my credit card was charged $163, not $63 like it should have been. When I presented the gift certificate to the waiter as he brought the bill, he said that was no problem and that he would adjust the bill accordingly. Apparently he decided not to do so.

                I went back on the Thursday (we ate on a Monday) and tried to get things sorted out. The waiter I dealt with was accommodating and seemed like he genuinely wanted to sort out the problem. I also ended up dealing with what seemed to be the owner/chef, and he too seemed like he wanted to make sure I was taken care of.

                One week has passed and not a peep from them. I will call them tomorrow and basically give them an ultimatum. If this issue is not fixed right away I will contact Visa and dispute the charge.

                5 Replies
                1. re: fmanning

                  Just a note that I had dinner here again the other day (not my choice, nor my cash): Dreadful at any price, and ridiculously awful at their stratospheric prices. Boring, unimaginative, simplistic, tasteless food. Cost more per person than the last time I ate at Rush. This is, taking price into account, without a doubt the worst restaurant in Calgary. Well, except the service was good in an obsequious way---if you're 173 years old[*] and just want to be served bland food by someone who will fawn over you, this is your place.

                  [*] Actual average age of diners the night I went.

                  1. re: ChrisA

                    ChrisA, you owe me a new keyboard. Review of the year, so far.

                    1. re: John Manzo

                      Well I've been a few times, and I found it pretty good but overpriced. Most of the times I've been it wasn't my choice but I didn't find it "worst restaurant in Calgary" taking price into account (I've had worse).

                      What I'm really curious about is why ChrisA owes you a new keyboard. Did you spill an incompatible liquid on it laughing?

                      1. re: hsk

                        That's the image YOMANK is supposed to convey, yes :)

                    2. re: ChrisA

                      I'm with you on this Chris. I used to get taken here sometimes and it was always bad, overpriced food. Its almost like this place is a front for some other types of business activities. Terrible people here, bad food.

                  2. I went there for lunch once. The food was good, fairly generic italian and the price wasn't too bad for lunch. However... it's so close to the core that I'd recommend visiting Rush or one of the really hot, super nice places in the core. With the economy the way it is you can do much better for the same price.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: AriaDream

                      Admittedly I haven't been to Osteria recently, but with one exception I've always had excellent service and excellent food. In fact I was introduced to the best calamari and tiramisu ever in Osteria.
                      My only negative experience was a Valentine's evening where the beef was stringy and tasteless.
                      I would go back in a minute, but not on Valentine's.

                      Osteria De Medici
                      201 10th Street NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1V5, CA

                    2. I went there with a large group of co workers for the new years. The service was very bad, the waiter was very rude, and to top it off the owner tried to scam us. He knew we were from out of town, and that we would only be in town for that night, so he tried to use that against us. We were overcharged by a huge amount, to the point where we had to complain. He finally dropped it to something that was still overcharging us, but we went ahead and paid it because we were sick and tired of dealing with it.

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: backstop35

                        In light of what I just read at the CTV.ca website, this thread is humourus.

                        Someone at the restaurant is quoted as complaining that the Edmonton Oilers left without paying their full, $18,000 bill after the players, family and no doubt "hangers on" spent New Years Eve there.

                        Allegations of overpricing ... overcharges ... reduced bill ...partial payment ...contending that the bill was now paid ....extra $ to go to charity...yeah right!!! ...

                        1. re: Bob Mac

                          There was a short segment about it as a lead in on Global today.

                          Never been there.

                          1. re: Bob Mac

                            Ugh. The owner truly seems a jackass after all of that - especially the parts where he mentions his staff won't get tips and the nonsense about the charitable donation. True class.

                            1. re: Leibowitz

                              Having never been to Osteria de Medici I have no comment on the food or service.

                              Why have I never been there? Aside from the utterly absurd prices for old school Italian?

                              Being a local, it's become pretty easy to gauge the whole operation's reputation. The owners are reputed to be truly horrible to their staff, and to patrons who don't have more money than brains. It's really seems to be an overpriced waxworks where the wealthy get stroked... And fleeced!

                              Of course, I'll take all of that with a grain of salt. However;
                              Having watched this grotesque public display of utter classlessness by the GM in the media, I am truly shocked.

                              That any establishment, when faced with such a financial disagreement with guests, whoever they are, would resort to such sanctimonious public mud slinging is as declasse an outfit that could exist.

                              And then to declare that you're giving the money away? Wow.

                              The simple truth is probably that this snobatorium is on its way out and this is merely a cheap, (very cheap) publicity stunt.

                              Hopefully, good riddance for 2010, Osteria!

                              1. re: seemac70

                                Finally, this a joint that actually brags about celebrities eating there on it's website...

                                Loretta Swit! Wow!

                                Steven Segal! Amazing!

                                Who could be at the next table?!?!? Jon and Kate? Octomom?

                                Hopefully, the next B-lister that comes in will pay in full, or else!

                                1. re: seemac70

                                  Clearly I'm in the minority here, but if I were the owner I'd be pretty upset at the cheap, classless, favour seeking millionaires.

                                  The Oilers-who were well oiled at an average of about ten drinks per person (see the bill in the Herald)-pulled a classless stunt. They can read menus like everyone else and knew the costs before ordering. And I have seen no mention that the Oilers had a problem with either the food or the service, merely that they felt they deserved special treatment.

                                  And finally, I think that the owner made the donation gesture to show that the situation was a matter of principle, not merely money.

                                  One more finally-never been to the restaurant, and probably never will, it's just not my nature to pay for the pleasure of eating at the "establishments of the stars",-where anyone with more than a double digit IQ knows that the prices will be higher than the quality of the meal.

                                  1. re: Scary Bill

                                    I doubt we are actually getting the full story here, from either side. From what I've seen, they were presented with a bill charging for individual drinks and thought they were only to be charged for bottles. That's pretty common for large parties I think. Maybe it was pre-arranged but someone forgot when they were ringing it all up - bill comes, there's a mistake on it, some drunk complains a bit too loudly. It gets fixed... Or maybe it wasn't prearranged but they felt they should get that price if it is offered in a private room. Whatever.... who cares? This is one of the stupidest things to hit the news in a long time.

                            2. re: backstop35

                              backstop- hopefully you and other out-of-towners (like a big group from Toronto in town for an event tonight) will realize that there are other restos in Calgary than this overrated one.

                            3. I haven't eaten at Osteria de Medici. However, out of curiousity I looked at the online menu.

                              They have nine appetizers, four soups, five salads, forty-three "entrees" (which seems to include primi and secondi), and six desserts. Regions represented range from Campania to Abruzzo to Liguria. I lived in Italy (Torino) for two years and have only ever seen an Italian menu of that breadth once before- at Olive Garden in northeast Calgary. A hallmark of Italian cooking is supposed to be regionality, and while I certainly ate my fair share of buffalo mozzarella and cannoli in Torino, it was more from street vendors at the neighbourhood market than from fine dining restaurants. The upscale restaurants in Torino all served Piemontese food, be it bagna cauda (eeew!) or bicerin (yay!). The all-over-the-map menu might be up Loretta Swit's alley (I seriously have no idea who that is), but the simple stochasticity of the menu is a huge turn off for me.

                              Additionally, I think it's a huge mistake for Osteria de Medici to be touting their celebrity followers. Loretta Swit aside, the photo of Kevin Costner looks to be from his Dancing with Wolves days, and I'm pretty sure that photo of Tom Selleck is from before I was born. None of the reviews on the site are dated, however they talk of appearing on the Mike Bullard Show (which aired at 12:05 am weeknights over five months spanning 2003 and 2004), the Vicki Gabereau Show (which hasn't aired in five years) and... best of all... the Dini Petty Show, which last filmed in NINETEEN NINETY-SIX!

                              I think Osteria de Medici did themselves a huge disservice by approaching the media before taking an objective look at their image and how they market themselves. That being said, I'll probably go there this week, as I'm currently looking for a boyfriend in the NHL and management doesn't seem to have thought of being discrete about upcoming reservations!

                              11 Replies
                              1. re: Jetgirly

                                I agree Jetgirly, this restaurant really blew it by calling up the media to help sort this one out for them. I'm a die-hard Calgary Flames fan, and nothing pleases me more than seeing the Edmonton Oilers lose, but this crosses the line big time.

                                I've got to admit that I've never eaten there before (I live in California now) but my parents have been there many times. I asked them about it this morning and my father says he's been there many times for diners hosted by people in his industry, and he says it was delicious but glad he wasn't picking up the tab. My mother also said the food was good, but she does the accounting for her firm and twice they have gone there for a work party, and on BOTH occasions she got home (and because she had to account for ever dollar spent) and realized that the restaurant had overcharged them by at least a $100.

                                Obviously this place is popular with large groups and they have gotten into the routine of throwing more than a few extra drinks, among other things, on the bill figuring no one would notice. Personally, I don't care how good the food may seem to be if the owners are unscrupulously ripping off their customers. It just makes me wonder what else they are doing that they don't want anyone to know about. That's the funny thing about karma: this restaurant owner thought he would really stick it to the Oilers and that Calgarians would get a good chuckle at their expense. However, it seems he's inadvertently shined a big bright light onto his own sleazy business practices. I was born and raised in Calgary, and I am embarrassed this place exists in my hometown. I hope the word gets out and they go out of business.

                                1. re: Jetgirly

                                  So true. Very few really good places have menus that big. I probably got lucky and picked something they do very well when I went there for lunch. Olive Garden is like that, actually... sometimes the food is great and sometimes it's terrible.

                                  1. re: AriaDream

                                    In the wake of this bizarre spectacle, I must really agree with Manzo's comment...

                                    All sorts of great places to eat here in Calgary.

                                    Places that are trying hard to be the best they can be, and that would relish the opportunity to welcome me, you, or even the Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club!

                                    1. re: seemac70

                                      Agreed that there are far better places to eat in Calgary than Osteria but the one thing they have going for it that sets it apart from the vast majority of places in Calgary is their private dining room. I would assume this was the main selling point in the Oilers hockey team going there. There are not many places in Calgary that can accomodate a group that size that provides the privacy Osteria does.

                                      1. re: DeeDub

                                        I think a lot of people would argue food quality & service is more important than privacy. IMHO there are plenty of places around Calgary withbetter food and service along with private rooms that could accomodate large groups. La Dolce Vita is another "old school" type Italian place that could fit the bill. Even some of the smaller venues could be booked for the evening for the kind of money they were paying.

                                        1. re: DeeDub

                                          According to this article, it was more a case of short notice.
                                          Where could you book the same day on NYE with a big group?
                                          "The team had intended to set out for San Jose after a game against the Flames but was forced to lay over due to the unexpected change in airport restrictions to the United States. They set off in a party of approximately 45 to the Osteria De Medici, a fine restaurant in the city's Kensington area that, sources say, had been recommended by Calgary captain Jarome Iginla, himself a native of Edmonton."
                                          The Flames actually eat there quite a bit.

                                          This part seems fairly mercenary (even if it is for a good cause).
                                          "A day later, when approached by The Globe and Mail for an interview, Mr. Terrigno sought to strike a deal for $1,000 to talk to the newspaper, saying he would be turning over the money to a relief fund for earthquake victims in L'Aquila, Italy. He said he already had struck a deal from a television network, that his story was "100 per cent accurate" and that the money raised was "for the betterment, not of myself, but of people who deserve the money.""

                                          1. re: cancowboy

                                            A group of 45 on NYE expecting to get service with no reservation? Bad form imho. Somehow I think it was their status that got them in to the restaurant.

                                            1. re: maplesugar

                                              This just in:

                                              AGLC is investigating the Osteria for "over serving alcohol."

                                              (CBC Radio)

                                              1. re: seemac70

                                                Ha ha, this thread is pretty funny! I like the seafood at Osteria de Medici, but that's something that most Italian places seem to do well. I've been there for Valentine's and although my husband made a reservation, when we got there it ended up being first come, first served (basically the reservation meant nothing).

                                                They are snobby bastards, though. Can I say that?

                                                1. re: seemac70

                                                  Hmph. If the change to the laws happened right on New Years day I'd hope they'd give the restaurants a bit of slack.

                                                  Although I did find it amusing that the local news said Osteria had refused comment unless they got money...

                                                  1. re: AriaDream

                                                    The laws didn't change on New Years Day, just who has to have training, it used to be only one person per shift (usually the manager) but now it's everyone.

                                                    The cost of the bar tab doesn't mean that much, you don't get any drunker on Dom Perignon than Baby Duck, but it does sound like the party might have got a little out of hand. Especially the swig out of a bottle of brandy as some reports said - if true, definitely illegal. With all that security footage it shouldn't be hard to figure out what happened.

                                    2. This is an amusing thread.

                                      As for the Oilers incident...there is just something that doesn't pass the smell test here. Approaching the media with this story was very gauche. There were many better ways to deal with this, if a serious issue actually existed. Other than pure vanity and self promotion, Osteria had no reason to call up the local media - This does not reflect well on the character of the owners.

                                      Considering how they dealt with these celebrities, why would others even consider going there. Imagine if Brad Pitt had a problem with the bill, would it be on the front page of the SUN the next day??

                                      As for the restaurant itself...I've eaten in the private dining room with about a dozen people, it was a corporate thing and the room itself was very nice. The service was good and if you're looking for privacy, it fits the bill quite nicely.

                                      As for the food...I can't really remember a single dish, which says something because I can recite virtually every course I've ever had at Capo and IL Sogno.