We went last night to try Sabor Divino for the first time for a 6:15 reservation for dinner, for Canadawg2's birthday. Lovely room, very open, extremely comfortable chairs, nice lighting. The hostess was prompt and civil; she offered to take our coats and showed us hooks on a nearby pillar as an alternative. Really comfy restaurant chairs are a rarity, so we were well disposed to start with! I liked the criss-cross table runners instead of placemats or a full tablecloth. Nice quality cloth napkins and good heavy silverware and glassware. The bathroom has individual rolled cloth towels instead of paper - points to them!
Our waiter was a very upright middle-aged Portuguese fellow who I swear cracked half a smile maybe once all evening. He was technically perfect as he worked the table, but didn't show the slightest interest in us or show any pleasure that we were there. He asked us how things were in a perfunctory manner, and was across the room before our mouths were half open to answer him. It got pretty funny after the second glass of wine.
A nice china plate of olives, a charger of butter, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and a basket of bread appeared promptly. The big green olives are great.
For apps we ordered the 5 tomato salad with onions, and the charcuteria plate for two. For $18 we got a lot of good interesting smoked meats, three slices of nice pate, some cheeses ( a herbed feta, something else that tasted kind of like gouda, and a mozzarella with tomato slices and balsamic), as well as a few more olives and some pickled peppers. Definitely good value. The tomatoes in the tomato salad were well seasoned but not as good as one might hope for this time of year. It was a good combination of dishes, though.
For mains, my partner had tagliatelle with lobster and prawns, and I had pork with clams (how non kosher can you get?). The tagliatelle was perfectly cooked, infused with lobster flavour. The lobster itself was generously portioned and tender. My clams were in a delicious rich tangy sauce. The thin slices of potato that came with them were a bit al dente for my taste and could have used a bit more crisping on the outside (like the potatoes at Spago), but they were yummy in the sauce and I ate them all up. It was a bad idea for them to try updating the dish with pork tenderloin, though, since it turned out dry and was carved in big chunks. The sauce couldn't redeem the pork, so it came home for our dogs, who were very happy indeed (unlike the waiter, who sneered at us for asking for a doggy bag).
One of the most fun parts of the evening were the tiny tasting servings of chocolate cayenne mousse and creme brulee for dessert. What a great idea! We never have room for dessert but always want to try a bite, and $3 a serving makes it manageable. We had slightly burnt but tasty espressos with dessert, a very nice glass of red wine (2007 Quinta do Crasto) with the apps and some really really good viognier with the mains. The stuffy waiter was good with the wine, and the temperatures were perfect.
There was a guitarist playing live (with a bit much amplification), who was very competent. We enjoyed it when he played Spanish classics, got a little tired of Beatles songs turned into elevator music and had terrible trouble stifling our giggles when the host joined him to perform Michael Jackson's "Rock With Me." Dude, no. He had a nice voice, and was pleasant when we were leaving, but no.
We'll definitely go back. The flaws were interesting, mostly, and the food was worth the reasonable price.
Sabor Divino Restaurant & Lounge
10220 103 Street NW, Edmonton, AB T5J 0Y8, CA
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