...Carino Riserva (Calgary)

Overall - 9/10
Food - 9/10
Service - 9.5/10
Ambiance - 8/10
Carino Riserva Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Carino Riserva is another take on it's sister restaurant Carino, which according to our server, is more Italian focused.  We enjoyed the food at Carino so we were excited to try Carino Riserva.  Tucked away in the heart of the Mission, the delicious food and friendly, attentive service more than makes up for the underwhelming interior.  If you make reservations in advance, we would recommend requesting the tables by the window.

On this night we shared two appetizers, the hamachi salad and spicy prawns & "yaki-onigiri" salad.  You know when you eat something and the first thing you think is, "Wow that's good!"?  Both appetizers did that for us with subtle umami flavours and seasonings that were neither too salty or sweet.  The hamachi salad was presented beautifully and very light and fresh.  The fish was complimented with flavours of citrus, wasabi, a balsamic reduction and soy.
The spicy prawn and "yaki-onigiri" salad was a fantastic creation.  This dish is more filling than the hamachi with the grilled rice ball, but absolutely worthy of the space in your stomach.  The prawns were cooked just right, but not spicy at all, as advertised, which we didn't mind.
The pasta dish we shared was the campenelle which is a rolled pasta that was fantastic at capturing the thick, rich wagyu meat sauce.  The meat sauce was on the sweeter side, which is how we like our tomato sauces anyway.

I had the rack of lamb with scalloped potatoes. The lamb was served on a bed of peppers, zucchini and olives cooked in tomato sauce.  The lamb had a crispy sear but was tender on the inside and I couldn't get enough of the salsa verde that was served on the side.  The scalloped potatoes were very creamy but perhaps on the saltier side. 
Darrin had the striploin steak with foie gras, roast potatoes and citrus salad.  The steak was cooked medium rare and very tender.  It was glazed with a tasty soy gastrique, which is a traditional French sauce made from vinegar and sugar.  The foie gras had a smooth silky texture and a nice 'buttery' accompaniment to the steak.

Finally for dessert we shared the tiramisu which was beautifully plated with raspberries, blueberries and edible flowers.  The tiramisu had an outer layer of coffee cake wrapped around a mascarpone centre.  This was a delicious ending to our meal that wasn't overly heavy.
We can see ourselves coming back soon! 


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