Simply Italian: Dinner at Borgo Trattoria

It seems like we’ve been getting a lot of new restaurants popping up in Calgary this past little while, and that is a good thing! Similar to my excitement for Ox And Angela, the massive sign for Borgo Trattoria caught my eye repeatedly for weeks prior to it’s opening in early September.

My friends and I popped into Borgo on a very busy Friday night. The interior of the space is amazing. Really fantastic light fixtures (On a side note, I’m so sick of those ‘vintage’ light bulbs lounges/restaurants are overusing these days…(*cough* Local 510/522 *cough*), great bench seating in the back half of the restaurant by their open kitchen, with a central bar area.

Borgo has quite extensive hours of operation. They are open from 8 a.m. until ‘whenever the chef is done’ which, the few times I’ve eaten here, has been around 11 p.m.

They start the day off as an espresso bar, serving the standard drinks (illy espresso of course, pictured), as well as home-made pastries. Turning into a lunch spot at 11:30 a.m., afternoon snack spot from 3-5, and a full-service dinner destination from 5 p.m. on. Wow, that was a lot to say…

The menu here has a lot of options. Small bites, Pastas (both half and full orders are offered), as well as different cuts of meats. Since there was four if us, we decided to order every item from the evening’s Cicheti (small bites) section. Some items were available by the piece, while others were a set price per plate. The Cicheti offerings change frequently, so you might not be able to enjoy the exact same dishes we did on this particular night.

Here were some of the highlights from the small plates that we ordered…

The veal and pork meatballs (ordered by the piece) were nice and tender. There was a very simple marinara sauce on top and just a sprinkling on parmesan cheese.

On this board, sat some crispy little crostini, proscuitto, and a melt-in-your-mouth mozzarella. Topped with some micro-basil as a finishing touch. Classic pairing here, I love a mild mozzarella, this did not disappoint.

We were all fighting over the last few bites of this mushroom dish. Sauteed wild mushrooms in a rich sauce, topped with parsley and some bread on the side to soak up all of the sauce. Which we did.

Saving the best for last, these beauties would be Borgo’s eggplant ‘fritta’ with a little pail (cute, hey?) of fennel yogurt dip. Eggplant can get mushy easily, so it was fantastic to enjoy the vegetable in crispy ‘french fry’ shape. I will always order this dish every time I’m in the restaurant. Even an eggplant hater would succumb to the tastiness of this dish. No joke!

After digesting the entire small bites menu, we were still a tad hungry, so decided to order some gnocchi to share, as well as some swordfish (fish option changes daily), followed by their dessert platter which featured four Italian desserts including a chocolate-dipped cannoli and a heavenly sweet panna cotta.

As far as drinks go here, Borgo offers a solid selection of wines and cocktails, but what I found most interesting is that the restaurant has three Italian beers that are imported directly from Italy (like the Birra Moretti, pictured) and are exclusive to the restaurant, well, in Calgary anyway.

Lastly, I just want to mention that the price point of the menu here is absolutely amazing. The most expensive dish we ordered was the gnocchi, which was only $16. Small bites ranged from $2-$8. If the IKEA ‘Start the car!’ commercial pops into your head when you get the bill, that’s ok…it happened to me too!

Borgo Trattoria on Urbanspoon

2 Comments to “Simply Italian: Dinner at Borgo Trattoria”

  • Erin October 31, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    Those eggplant fries look delicious. :)

  • Stephanie November 3, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    I really want to try this place. I love small plate/tapas places because I have chronic indecision when I have to choose just one dish or when (the horror) I’m eating with people who don’t share.

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