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May 19, 2010 12:22 AM

Sorrentino's by Di Gennaro - YYC

I went there for dinner today and it was WAY better than the old Sorrentino's menu (which was complete crap). They have a famiglia style section that changes every couple days. My memory is a little fuzzy on this but I think Mon & tues is chicken and veal stew, Wed & thurs is cornish hen, Fri is Cioppino, and Sun & Sat is steak (rib-eye I think??). If I remember correctly, the famiglia style option also came with brushetta, pasta and salad. About $22 - $30 per person. Giuseppe was there tonight too, which was nice to see.

We opted for the regular menu. Started with the carmelized onions, smoked pork, and sour cream pizza, which was great. The crust was thin and crispy and the sour cream worked surprisingly well with the pork and onions. I had the chicken saltimbocca with gnocchi and brussels sprouts ($22). Chicken was moist and well cooked. Gnocchi and brussel sprouts were amazing. Dinner companions had tagliatelle with mushrooms and smoked pork ($14 i think) and fusilli in tomato sauce and chicken wings ($16, I think). Tagliatelle was great and all the pastas were cooked to al dente. Fusilli was good, but it looked like the chicken wings were weird to eat with the pasta. The pasta portion size was great too, we ended up packing some home because there was so much!

Service was mediocre, but I guess they can't fix everything! We were directed to our seats by a lady with very little clothes on. It was disturbing.

Anyways, I highly recommend checking this restaurant out now. It was wonderful to finally have a non-crappy meal at Sorrentino's!

Sorrentino's by Di Gennaro
308, 1919 Sirocco Drive
in Signature Plaza

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    1. re: JohnnyGe

      So my wife and I checked out the redesign of Sorrentino's on Sirocco this past Saturday. We were very pleased to see that Giuseppe himself was running things in the kitchen, almost like a Kitchen Nightmares-style redux with Giuseppe as Ramsay! (I can't vouch for whether or not Sorrentino's Calgary was a "nightmare" before Giuseppe's arrival, but it certainly was not well-received)

      We both know Giuseppe somewhat - we first went to Capo in 2007 and had a conversation with him about how we felt that Capo should have been En Route's real #1 best new restaurant in Canada as opposed to the good (but unspectacular) Nu in Vancouver. Following that we had birthday celebrations at Capo, went there with friends, and most recently went there over the May long weekend with my mother who was visiting from Vancouver. We were surprised to not see him manning the ship at Capo that night! The food was great nonetheless though.

      The servers at Sorrentino's by di Gennaro all seem like they were kept on after Giuseppe came on, but coached and re-trained. They were young and somewhat nervous, likely due to how Giuseppe can be an initimidating presence. It was nice to see him in the kitchen and we greeted each other as we passed by to our table.

      We started with a brilliant grilled bruschetta typed with ricotta cheese and cherry tomatoes - the cheese and tomatoes added a great touch of sweetness and it was all drizzled with a lovely olive oil.

      We next shared a plate of tagliatelle with wild mushrooms and smoked bacon - this was wonderfully done and had great flavours, and was a very big portion for two people to share.

      For our mains I had the chicken saltimbocca with sage-butter gnocchi and sauteed brussel sprouts which was amazing, especially considering that I never order chicken dishes in restaurants! My wife had the flatiron steak cooked rare with a salsa verde and delightful mixed greens salad with olive oil dressing. The perfect low-carb main!

      I must mention price point - everything was perfect, with the mains in the $20's, bruschetta at $8 and pasta at $16. The perfect reasonably-priced option in the area.

      The only part that was amiss was the dessert (or lack thereof). We ordered a panna cotta to share but after a long wait and several apologies by our server, we gave up and took the bill. Our server and the manager were profusely apologetic and you could get the feeling that Giuseppe was not happy with this slip in his usual high standards, but we enjoyed our meal nonetheless and chalked it up the restaurant having to get rid of their recently-opened jitters and smoothing out issues.

      Service noticeably slowed once the dinner rush hit around 7pm but luckily we ordered before that.

      All in all, Sorrentino's is now an incredible dining option to have in the Westside of the city, and one of the best (if not the best) reasonably-priced Italian restaurants in Calgary bar none. Well done and here is hoping that the service issues can be smoothed out and things stay consistent when Giuseppe feels comfortable to leave and resume as captain of Capo or whatever venture he decides on next.

      1. re: dknight

        Great review, thanks!

        How did your wife like her flatiron rare? I've learned from experience never to order rough cuts like flatiron less than medium; it's like trying to saw through rare lamb.

        1. re: John Manzo

          Thanks JM - check it out if you get the chance!

          To be honest it was probably closer to medium rare/rare but it was very good. It was pre-sliced a la traditional Italian famiglia style so that made things simpler probably, but overall not very sinewy or anything.

          Next time we definitely want to try the capellini primavera and the cioppino seafood stew as well as the braised pork shoulder!