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May 27, 2008 09:17 PM

Fiore Cantina

My parents are coming into town for friday, they want to go out for dinner and told me to pick. So I was looking into some good Italian, the menu at fiore looks pretty good... Anyone have an opinion?

Also taking more suggestions though! Some good keywords would be: stuffed pasta, artisan fresh bread, eggplant and shrimps :) (And not Olive Garden :) )


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  1. There are no Italians cooking in the kitchen of Fiore Cantina. It is owned by the Chianti group, which is really along the lines of Olive Garden. This is "pasta and red sawce" Italian American at best. If that is what you are after, fill your boots. It is cheap, tasty and completely un-Italian.

    For a more authentic and charming experience just down the road, I would suggest Buon Giorno Ristorante. That is if moderately priced, casual Italian food is what you seek. If you are open to other types of food, list your criteria and this board can help you with more suggestions.

    I would give Fiore a pass, though, personally.

    11 Replies
    1. re: formerlyfingers

      I 2nd passing on Fiore. When they had the fire awhile back I thought it might be so they could cut their losses so to speak.

      Buon Giorno is an excellent suggestion. I'd also suggest La Dolce Vita in Bridgeland for an old school approach. Although I have to say I wasn't excited by La Dolce Vita's desserts...the cheesecake appeared to be the previously frozen variety - but then maybe that was just a bad night?

      1. re: maplesugar

        I can't speak to any of the other desserts, but I know that the tiramisu was made in-house by a big, hairy and kindly Italian man. I got a whole pan of one for my birthday once.

        1. re: toutefrite

          I'm glad to hear it... I wasn't going to write off their whole dessert menu for one bad slice. I was surprised since they were recommended so highly (DH's colleagues) and everything else I'm sure was handmade ...maybe the fridge was set too high... who knows.

          Big, hairy, kindly and Italian definitely an accurate description of the gentlemen at LDV lol...could be intimidating to some if they weren't so friendly :)

      2. re: formerlyfingers

        Second that. Fiore is insipid and formulaic "Italian".
        I'd suggest naming your budget, and maybe the area of town you'd prefer, and im sure the folks on the board can get you a better dining experience.

        1. re: yen

          lol eh badda boom badda bing ;)

          1. re: maplesugar

            Don't even get me started on East Side Mario's.... :)

            1. re: yen

              Heh it's not my fave place by any means (if the OP were looking for less traditional Italian I'd have suggested Il Sogno, Sugo et al) However I started my short career in the kitchen as a prep cook at ESM so I have the ladies running the show back there to thank for my passable knife skills.

              I also have ESM to thank for my intense dislike of calamari... something about prepping vats of the stuff ... I have an almost pavlovian response to the sight of it...and not in a good way. :)

              1. re: maplesugar

                Oh, do i ever concur with you on prepping calamari. I bought 10lbs of the stuff once, and the fish vendor offered to prep and clean them all for 2 bucks. Being the cheap guy that i am, i figured i could do it myself.. save a few bucks.

                A couple hours later, i payed a couple fisher boys on the beach 2 bucks to finish cleaning the other half i didnt get to. I think i'll stick to having the pro's handle them from now on.

          2. re: yen

            I'd like it to be on 17th or Stephens, I think my budget os about 15-25 per main :)

          3. re: formerlyfingers

            Whats the menu like at Buon Giorno? I had already looked it up but no menu online (and some useless reviews) Also would like to know ballbark price on mains


            1. re: crigg

              Their prices have gone up substantially over the last 2 years but last time I went (about a month ago) pastas were around $15 and mains were around $20, more for fancy stuff.

          4. Buon Giorno is excellent and excellent value, too- sadly their bread is worse than bad, but you can't have everything...

            Incidentally my dad was 100% Neapolitan but his taste in "Italian" was horrible- I grew up on Chef Boyardee and "Pasta Fazool" made with canned beans and cut-up generic hotdogs. My Polish mom also made the mostaccioli that everybody loved with boiled (yes boiled) sausages and... oh God it's too painful to continue.

            3 Replies
            1. re: John Manzo

              lol this isn't the thread to discuss the gastronomic horror shows that were our parent's kitchens hehe ;)

              1. re: John Manzo

                What's wrong with the bread at Buon Giorno? I rarely eat all of it but I often have a couple of bites with the calamari app. - seems like normal crusty Italian bread - am I missing something?

                I agree with others, Buon Giorno is WAY better than Fiore, I've only been there once but was extremely unimpressed, cheap - but pasta with hardly anything in it should be cheap.

                1. re: hsk

                  I've never had bread there that wasn't dried out and forgettable- when you get it with takeout, it's a hockey puck by the time you get it home. Might be the worst bread I've ever had in a restaurant.

                  I love the place (wish they had their outstanding lunchtime pizza at dinner though!) but the bread is a nightmare.

              2. I would vote for Il Pasticcio - they do great baked dishes, but do serve the omniprescence Italian Bakery bread and buns. But I actually like them so that is not a problem.

                I used to love the Sicilian Pasta Kitchen on Jasper but haven't been for a long time.

                1 Reply
                1. re: pengcast


                  I think crigg is talking about Calgary but sounds like the Fiore Cantina there is the same as the one here given the little I know about the latter from its commericals filmed in its kitchen and the references to Chianti and "red sauce".

                2. Hi there - I would highly recommend Il Portico on 100 Ave and 107, stellar service and fab food - I acutally have their Linguine and Rosee sauce with seared Tiger Prawns on my profile as one of my top 5 all time meals! Although Sorrentino's is a local chain, I still love their pasta, particulary the Bison Cannelloni serve at the downtown location. The Little Italy location is more rustic but more charming to boot :)

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: eastcoastgirl_westcoastlife

                    The Little Italy location has better food than downtown IMHO.

                  2. Question - which city are you referring to??? I just realized that while most people just followed the first reply, this could be Edmonton or Calgary...

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: yen

                      Crigg lives in Calgary (I think!) so I was assuming Calgary, but people, let's please learn to be clear on what city out posts are referring to, especially when it's a name like 'Ichiban" or "Moti Mahal" of which there's one in every major city.

                      I'll repeat my plea also to include at least cursory address info when reviewing or inquiring about restos.

                      I know I'm not a mod but these are suggestions we can all agree with, I hope.

                      1. re: John Manzo

                        I agree! Sometimes its hard to know what city people are referring to... although in this case I thought there was only one Fiore Cantina (in AB anyway) I assumed Calgary.

                        1. re: maplesugar


                          That is where the problem can arise because there is one in Edmonton as well, just south of the High Level Bridge on 109th Street.

                          That is why I commented above that given the reference to the Chianti group and "red sauce" they may very well be owned by the same parties.

                          1. re: Bob Mac

                            Agreed...and I learned something new since I didn't know exactly who owned Fiore's. I made sure to remember in my most recent post to mention Calgary so as to avoid confusion :D

                          2. re: maplesugar

                            Yeah I assumed the same, never saw a Fiore in Edmonton. Good to know.
                            BTW in Edmonton, I'd second Il Portico, great food and service, but it's been a couple of years since I've been there.