If there is one type of food that Calgary does well it is Italian, and when you think Italian you usually think of some of the great restaurants in NE Calgary. However, I’m here to tell you that there is great Italian food in the SW as well. Gnocchi’s is just such that kind of place. Family run from chef to waiter this is a restaurant that begs to be found.
Most people will remember Gnocchi’s from its previous location in the Stampede ground are a where they served up delicious meals for 5 years. These days they can be found at 1238 - 8th Street SW where they have been for the last 3 years. The building is large and airy with huge windows for an afternoon lunch with a warm interior of slate tiles, nutmeg colored walls and high ceilings.
The menu is pure Italian with a variety of fish, pasta and meat dishes sure to please anyone. Maybe the part I liked the best was the long list of wines that were available by the glass for those who don’t want to purchase a full bottle with their lunch or dinner. As soon as you are seated you are served with fresh bread accompanied by pickled Jalapeno peppers in spicy oil. I’d recommend two things, first try them and second have them with the bread to knock down some of the heat!
To start our dinner we ordered first Calamari Marinara, which is sautéed calamari in garlic and white wine with a light tomato sauce. Our second appetizer, which since I didn’t hear anyone scream the last time I wrote about liver, was the special of the day. Chicken livers, wrapped in bacon served in a white wine and garlic sauce. These were a perfectly done pair of dishes that couldn’t have started an evening better.
For our main courses we chose a traditional Italian favorite, Fettuccine Mare Monti, which are large fresh chunks of crab with mushrooms and green onion in a creamy Brandy sauce. The second dish was Ossobuco Porcini. This is a veal shank simmered for 4 hours and then finished off with a Porcini mushroom sauce. No knives needed here as the meat falls of the bone and onto your fork. This might just be the best veal that I have ever tasted!
Wine by the glass you say? We decided to choose from the selection and accompanied our meal with a Nipozzano Reserva Chianti, which at $8 per glass was a deal.
Desert was again two Italian staples, first Cassata Siciliana, a layered ice cream cake with a splash of Grand Marnier, plus the house specialty, Tiramisu, which needs no comment other than it more than lived up to the title of “specialty”!
A cappuccino to finish and yet another great meal at a great Calgary restaurant was finished! So remember, you don’t have to cross the river to find great Italian cooking in Calgary, it’s available just a stones throw away from downtown at Gnocchi’s!
One final note, this is the last installment until the next RECORDER in September however I’d like to hear any of your views at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1238 - 8th Street SW
Price $11.00 - $25.00