Once again Coral and I found ourselves going out for food. Somehow these things just happen. Since I was on an Open Table roll (Redwater Grille, anyone?) we decided to check this restaurant out. The special $10 pasta nights definitely encouraged our patronage too.
Our waiter, Mark (or Marc?) seemed a little snooty when he realized we wouldn’t be ordering any wine. In fact, he was only rather nice after we asked his name and got to talk to him a little. I think people like knowing that other people want to know their name, actually. I’ve only realized that after working at an intense service job this past summer.
Ah, bread: the beginner of many a pasta meal. After some waiting, we received the lovely bread basket. The spread itself was disappointing. Corliss found the spread salty and tasteless, while I identified it as a cross between Cheez Whiz and ranch dressing. The bread was really better off by itself.
True to my hobbit nature, I ordered the linguini boscaiola (10 on Sunday/Monday depending on location); that’s the Mushroom Lovers dish to you non-menu holding folks. Coral went with the pollo pasta. Our dishes came soon enough and I do have to say Coral had ordered the better dish. My first bite of the mushroom filled dish was so very delicious. Unfortunately, the strength of the flavours soon became much too much. An overdose of white truffle oil on top of crushed garlic, combined with uneven marinating made for a dish that was overpoweringly flavoured on the outside and completely bland on the inside. Oh pasta dish, if only you had been well-tossed before being cheesed and peppered, everything would’ve been alright. Three or four bites aside the majority of the dish was alright.
Coral’s pollo pasta (10; see above) turned out to be tastier than either of us thought. On first seeing it Coral thought it’d be a dry dish, especially with the lack of cheese or appearance of sauce on the plate. Upon eating it though, both she and I really enjoyed the touch of sweetness in a dish that was more moist than expected. Coral says she would’ve enjoyed a little more crunch in the dish; the tomatoes were soft and probably overheated rather than freshly tossed in, but the shredded chicken was a great alternative to the chunks of cut chicken she was used to in other chicken pasta dishes.
Since we were in a bit of an indulgent mood, we also ordered dessert. Yay! I rarely every order dessert outside so this really was a treat. The apple ravioli (8) was an interesting dessert; we ate it first since it came served hot. The cinnamon pasta was chewy but filled with comfortingly hot apple puree and the two pieces of ravioli were served over a lake of warm salted caramel. Coral thought that apple puree on the outside would’ve been better, since the caramel was a tad oversweet for the entire dish, but I still satisfied my tooth’s sweet craving for the month by scooping up that caramel and eating it by the forkful.
Our second dessert, the lemon tart (8), had a very dense shortbread crust and a filling that was extremely lemon-y to the point of being more sour than sweet, but we both thought it was absolutely delicious. Presentation was also simple but well done. Whoo-rah.
San Remo Ristorante
3574 Garrison Gate SW
Calgary, AB T2T 6B5
Pros: Prices are decent for the food and quality of food if you’re going on pasta night and also good if you’re looking for an alternative to Chianti’s creamy/heavy dishes. Service was friendly enough and desserts were very well done. I also had no problem with the Open Table reservation.
Cons: Over use of truffle oil in my dish and inconsistent mixing in my dish; I’m inclined to think that there isn’t a consistent amount of attention given to each dish going out the window. Service was also a little slow, but I suppose that’s less of a drawback if you’re looking to spend some time with friends.
If this place weren’t so far from home I’d probably frequent it a bit more and check out some of the other dishes, but only on the pasta special nights. I’m not sure if their quality extends past the prices we paid. I’m also very in half-price desserts on Tuesday; at 4$ I’d gladly hang out with a few friends there just for the sweets. Overall: mostly decent.