Anybody heard about Borgo Trattoria yet?
We finally made it to Borgo. The place was hoppin' packed by 6pm. We started with an italian cocktail of negroni. I'd had that in Venice before so I knew what to expect.
We started appetizers with the 3 cheese/meat platter. I think it was a decent size for $15. It also came with what I thought he said was 'pickled eggplant'. I don't even like eggplant but this was delicious. We also tried the aranchino. They were hot and nice and crispy but basically they are just plain old risotto croquettes. I was expecting some ragu or cheese to be stuffed inside but nothing except a small amount of cheese sauce on top... The bruchetta was blah. I should know better than to order fresh tomatoes in December, in Calgary. For dinner, two of us shared the veal milanese. It was very plain - breaded and fried tender with a smoked cheese on top. No sauce of any kind. Very good but a fairly small portion served with zuchini salad. We also shared the porcini mushroom fetticini. The serving was huge! It was very tastey but I am pretty sure it was smothered in truffle oil, which seems unnecessary, to me, for a full on mushroom dish but hey, I still devoured my share! My friend had a pork shoulder dish with creamy polenta. It was braised to perfection and the portion size was adequate for one.
Unfortunately, there was a mix up with dessert. We had thought we orderd a 4-sampler of mixed desserts but it didn't get ordered. It didn't matter, we decided we were full by then anyway. We enjoyed a couple limoncellos instead.
The server was efficient and helpful and very Italian. We enjoyed a night out there, and will definately be back. When we left there was line up out the door. So obviously many others like it too.
We've been a couple of times, once for the late-night menu, and once for lunch. Both times, the deep-fried eggplant was excellent. The charcuterie plate was good, but not inspired. For the late-night visit, we had the bruschetta, and it was quite possibly the worst version of this I have ever had. The bread had been grilled, but was cold and obviously had spent time in the fridge. It's not the best time of year for tomatoes, but they could have been jazzed up with some acid, etc., and weren't. We had ordered four, but left two uneaten. The arrancini were very good. The greens were definitely off in the spinach salad, and the lardon were disappointing. Loved the atmosphere, and service was great, but on both occasions we were underwhelmed by the food. Will try it one more time for dinner and some of the dishes other hounders have been raving about.
I thought the eggplant fritta was the highlight too. Everything else was ok to good, not outstanding. But it was inexpensive so good value, we went for a late dinner we left full and satisfied for less $$ than some other new places nearby. I saw Capo hanging out behind the bar there when we went, I was wondering how he could be there instead of at his restaurant at the time, this was about a month ago.
I haven't been yet, and have heard great reviews on chowhound, but have a friend that says that Borgo has changed the menu several times since opening and that they no longer do the small tasting plates. Is that true? Has anyone else heard or experienced this? Just curious.
We went there over the weekend and I loved it. The concept of building your meal up is great, because you can eat as much or as little as you like. I knew about the concept from reading this board, but the servers explain it to you also so no one should be surprised about how the portions work. Everything is served 'family style.'
The food is superb. Flavourful, delicious, earthy. The arancino (risotto balls) are great - I could have eaten a whole bag of those! The bucatini was fabulous - gorgeous fresh basil with wonderful sauce. We were scraping the bowls. The mains (veal/steak) were great. Again, not large in and of themselves, but they go well when you build the rest of the meal around it.
The service was kind and efficient. The prices are good. We had a great meal for a very reasonable price, especially by Calgary standards. It is nice to see top quality food at fair prices.
This is a great addition to the city and I hope they keep up exactly what they are doing.
I finally got to try Borgo and I really liked it. The food is good and the place is very nice. It is very Italian I find and it almost felt like a short trip to Italy. My colleagues found the concept of small bites to share a bit weird and the portions small. Coming from Europe I must say it is quite typical to have smaller portions, especially for lunch. Also the desserts were less sweet than what you usually get here but again not surprising in true Italian cuisine.
We had the risotto balls, pork & fennel balls, calamari, focaccia with oil, beef skewers, cheese platter and the fennel salad, as well as clam linguini, some other pasta dish with porchetta and peas and for dessert pistacchio and vanilla ice cream and canoli plus a few illy coffees. I thought the food was excellent and the service great. A little pricier but totally worth it.
I will definitely be back and not only once. A heavenly piece of Italy in the middle of Calgary.... Just what I was looking for.
818 16 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2R 0S9, CA
I had a chance to try this trattoria on thursday night for a relatively casual dinner with my girlfriend before I had to endure 2.5 hours of the Cirque but that's another story haha.......
Started out with a prosecco cocktail that involved aperol and gassosa....a nice start.
We then ordered a few Items from the tasting menu where you can essentially order as many of an item as you want. Since they were out of the italian chicken wings we ordered:
A couple of polpetta (pork and fennel meatball): Good flavour and a zesty sauce, a little on the tough side.
A couple of Arancino: Again pretty good, served with the same sauce as the polpetta. If I were making rissotto specifically for Arancino balls, I'd cook the rice slightly less the first time through to prevent it from becoming really mushy and gummy after the second fry.
Sliced mushrooms in a creamy tuffle sauce: Typically I'm against the liberal dousing of a dish with truffle oil (real truffles another story entirely) but this little plate was delicious. We ordered some extra grilled focaccia to make sure not a drop was wasted.
For our main course I had a glass of Chianti which was perfectly decent and we shared an ensalada mixta, the papardelle with lamb and mint ragu, and one tiny piece of veal saltimboca.
The salad was a very nice (and small) mixture of micro greens that essentially comes undressed and with a little cart of oil/vinegar/salt/pepper. I kind of like this approach but not sure about the cost of this one considering what you get.
The Lamb papardelle was good and it came with a relatively healthy portion of tenter lamb chunks, however, I don't think the mint in the ragu did anything for the dish as a whole and it lacked a real depth and richness that an amazing slow cooked ragu should have. Not complaining at all.......just wasn't something to rave about.
The saltimbocca was great albeit VERY small which was fine because we were getting pretty full at this point.
We finished the meal with a little scoop of pistachio gellato and we were on our way out for a grand total of $80 plus tip.
I'll mention that I quite liked the new space. They've really put a lot of effort into creating a place that feels new with quite a few rustic Italian touches. There's an open kitchen in the back, huge bar in the middle and 2 story floor to ceiling windows in the front. Our server was great and she could actually speak italian which is good because there are plenty of menu items which will be confusing to those not well versed in this style of cuisine.
Although I wasn't blown away by the food I certainly enjoyed it and I'll be coming back for sure. There was good service, relatively reasonable prices, a really cool space and a ton of other items on the menu that I'd like to try. I don't think they accept reservations so get down there when you have the chance! I'd be interested to know what some of you guys think?