Dino Rosa’s Italian Market, Calgary

Say you have a really great grocery store specializing in Italian groceries: pressed olive oils, fresh pastas, home-made meals for take-out, deli meats, cheeses, hard-to-find items imported from Italy. The logical next step? Start serving a full menu. You’ve already got all the ingredients on hand, after all.

Maria and Patricia Cesario (mother and daughter) did so well with the lunch crowd that they decided to give evenings a try; currently it’s just open Friday and Saturdays for dinner, till about nine pm.

The new menu is classic, down-home Italian: the kind of food you envision eating on a red-and-white checkered tablecloth. Appetizers include calamari, served with homemade tomato sauce; gamberi (shrimp cooked in white wine with basil and lemon juice). Sandwiches include the fiery Calabrese, with Calabrese salami, hot Capicolla, and hot banana peppers; panino magnifico with prosciutto, ham, and mortadella; saucy sausage with homemade Italian sausage, tomato sauce, peppers and onions; and Bel Vitello, breaded veal, tomato sauce, and provolone cheese. Pizza features heavily on the new menu; pies include the classics, as well as a couple of stand-outs: the Pizza Casalinga (house special) includes Calabrese Salami, Italian sausage, roasted peppers, mushrooms, and fresh tomatoes; the Pizza Zeus is topped with seafood; and the vegan pizza has mushrooms, roasted red peppers, and artichokes.

Similarly, pastas come in classic versions that everyone knows (cheese ravioli; spaghetti and meatballs; lasagna) and a few more complicated choices: tortellini is filled with veal and topped with Alfredo sauce; al dente linguine is topped with clams in red or white sauce; the Angry-Hot Penne is topped with anchovies, garlic, rosemary, chili peppers, basil, and a red tomato sauce. Entrées include my all-time favourite, veal al limone, veal sautéed in white wine with lemon juice and garlic; salsiccia and spinaci, two Italian sausages pan-fried with spinach and topped with tomato sauce; and gamberi alla griglia, two skewers filled with shrimp, baby tomatoes, green peppers, onion, and mushrooms.

Address: 9140 Macleod Trail SE, Calgary, AB
Contact: 403-255-6011
Cuisine: Italian
Area: South Calgary
Venue: Restaraunt
Hours: Mon. – Thu.: 9:30 – 5:30
Price Range: $$ (Affordable)
Payment: American Express, Master Card, VISA

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