Most likely you've already heard of Capo Restaurant even though it's only been around for a year now.

For new restaurants it was rated the best in Calgary by The Globe and Mail and Where Magazine, and second in Canada by Enroute.

Chef and Owner Giuseppe Di Gennaro is meticulous with his ingredients and it shows in his dishes. You may know Giuseppe from Il Sogno in Bridgeland where he wowed us since 2001 with his vision of “new” Italian food. He ventured out into Inglewood in March 2006 to open Capo. With only 32 seats in the main restaurant there is a feeling of closeness but comfort and coziness. The room is surrounded by high banquettes in addition to a few tables in the middle, with the showcase being a pass-through where you can see Giuseppe finalizing his creations. We booked in a table for eight and had the choice of being in the main dining room where the maximum size for a group is eight, or booking the private dining room, which is in the back and will hold a maximum of sixteen. The separate dining room would be great for business dinners or a family gathering but I was glad we chose to be in the main dining room where all the action was. If you book the separate dining room you must go with the Chef's Table which is a menu put together by Giuseppe for that night and it starts at $85 per person for dinner.

Now, onto the most important part, the food. Di Gennaro uses only the finest and freshest of ingredients. We started with the amuse which was a trio: a panko coated fried mascarpone risotto on gorgonzola cheese, duck prosciutto rolled around goat cheese and citrus poached shrimp.

You have a choice of a few antipasti (appetizers $13), a few paste (pasta $16), and some secondi (main courses $32-$36), as well as dolce (dessert $9.50).

You'll definitely find something to your liking. Since we had a large table we were able to sample a good variety of the menu. The antipasti casserole of prawns, clams, cannellini beans and cherry tomato coulis served in a small warm copper pot was reminiscent of my all time favorite calamari appetizer of Giuseppe's at Il Sogno. The butternut squash soup was served from a copper kettle at your table. We all got a good laugh when our server said that it was rated the best in Canada by Chatelaine magazine. I'm not sure why we found that so amusing.

My choice for the secondi was the seasonal fresh fish, which happened to be Chilean Sea Bass that night, and was done perfectly. Others at the table had the AAA beef tenderloin with young gorgonzola mousse, port reduction and sautéed broccoli rabe ($36), roasted pheasant breast, Muscat wine and rosemary reduction with morel mushrooms and parsnip puree ($35) or thyme-marinated grilled prawns with shellfish saffron cream and pan-seared spicy micro mushrooms ($32). All of these were served with small warm cast iron pots of grilled vegetables. Everyone agreed that their meal was delicious. It definitely shows when particular attention is paid to the ingredients. Unfortunately we were too full to finish off with dessert which all looked wonderful, but the expressos were outstanding.

There is no shortage of excellent staff in this place but never do you feel that you are being overwhelmed by their presence. At a time when staffing is so problematic in Calgary, Capo stands out from others with its service. The food was excellent but be prepared to pay for it. Dinner for two was around $200. Enjoy!

1420 9th Avenue SE
Phone: 264-2276



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