I was leary when my husband said he made reservations for an Italian restaurant for our 7th anniversary. My last experience with Italian in Calgary had been at Osteria di Medici on 10th St. NW and it was basically food I could have made at home, served by snobs.
I don't know that I can adequately describe our dinner at Il Sogno Friday night except to say it was easily the best food and service I've had in Calgary in years. The hostess made excellent suggestions regarding the wine list. We had a lovely Paiagal - I'm not a sommelier by any means so words fail me, but it was full bodied without being overly bold and complimented our meal beautifully. Our server brought us a basket of fresh sourdough served with a ricotta cheese spread rather than butter. The sourdough was amazing; an the ricotta spread complimented it quite nicely. It's been years since I've had authentic sourdough rather than the in-store-bakery type that is artificially soured.
I started with the salad with hotchkiss tomatoes, peppery greens and just enough peccorino cheese and a perfectly balanced viniagrette of white balsamic and olive oil. The pasta course came next - I ordered the prawn and crab tortelloni, saffron corn nage and red pepper compote. The tortelloni was the very definition of "al dente" I have never had such fresh pasta. The texture was nothing like the glutenous mass usually served at other establishments. It was firm but not undercooked, and the crab and prawns(also exquisitely prepared) paired well with the saffron corn nage. Last but not least, was the "Pesce del Giorno" the "fish of the day" if you translate it literally. The seasonal fresh fish was a grilled mackerel which again was flawless imho. It was served over a ragout of seasonal vegetables and cannelini beans.
Service was impeccable as well. Our server appeared almost the moment after we finished each course and the next arrived at a perfect pace, allowing a few minutes between courses for us to discuss the experience, but not so long as to leave you wondering if they forgot about you...and friendly, but not too chatty, and there when you needed him and not when you didn't.
My only regret is not sticking around for dessert...the ones served to the table next to us looked like a work of art. We instead decided to go back to Nectar in Inglewood. Once again Nectar did not disappoint....but that's for another thread.
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