Tucked in right next to Corso 32 is Bar Bricco, Daniel Costa’s latest gift to the Edmonton Food Scene. Just like Corso 32, blink and you’ll miss it. In fact, I walked right past it the first time and then had to do one of those weird stares right into the window to make sure I was going into the right place.
It was 7 pm on a Saturday night and I was meeting my friend Allie for dinner. Bar Bricco doesn’t take reservations and seeing as it is associated with one of Edmonton’s hottest restaurants, I wasn’t feeling great about our chances of getting in. Turned out I was wrong. Bar Bricco was busy, but Allie had been able to find us a place at the bar fairly easily. I expect that this phenomena will not last long as news of Bar Bricco begins to spread.
Bar Bricco has an extensive wine list offering some 3 oz, 6 oz and 9 oz glasses, as well as many bottles. There are also a few cocktails on the drink menu, for those so inclined. I actually decided on the Pear Bellini, which was made traditionally with pear purée and sparkling wine. It was very light and refreshing, the type of drink that would be perfect on one of Edmonton’s hot, summer days. Allie decided on a glass of red which, in hindsight, I think actually was probably better suited to our meal.
After we received our drinks from the bartender, we took some time to look over the menu. The menu is made of up 3 main sections: spuntini (snacks), salumi (Italian cured meats) and formaggi (cheese). We decided to select one item off of each section of the menu and go from there.
From the spuntini section, we decided on the Fonduta Agnolotti Dal Plin, Sage Butter and Parmigiano. The Agnolotto were little pockets of home-made pasta stuffed with prosciutto, spinach and cheese. These beautiful little morsels were served with a delicious sage butter and shaved parmigiano. We dipped each agnolotti in the butter and then rolled it in the parmigiano, which made them not only fun to eat, but quite delicious. The pasta itself had the wonderful bite to it that only fresh, home-made pasta can achieve.
Next out came the 6 month aged Pecorino, drizzled with honey. I never would have thought to pair Pecorino and honey together, but the salty, hard cheese worked really well with the sweet honey. I love a nicely aged, pungent cheese and this Pecorino did not disappoint.
Next came out a gorgeous plate, covered with thinly shaved pieces of Culatello. Culatello is considered by many to be the “King” of Italian, cured meats and, to me, had a very similar taste and texture to prosciutto. The meat was soft, with a strong salty, pork flavour and thick ribbons of fat.
The meat and cheese were served with warm bread and home-baked grissini (breadsticks), both of which provided the perfect vessel for enjoying the Pecorino and Culatello.
Allie and I both devoured everything in front of us and agreed that Bar Bricco was pretty awesome. It has a really sleek interior, complete with a huge bar, adorned with a meat slicer to freshly shave the beautiful cured Italian meats, displayed within a glass cabinet behind the bar. We really enjoyed everything we had to eat and drink and it was so fun to try yet another new, innovative Edmonton restaurant. I think Bar Bricco would be a great place to meet friends for an after work snack and drink or for a fun date-night.
My only hesitation about Bar Bricco, and this might have to do with the fact that I live so close to one of the Italian Centre Shops, is that I feel like I could go out and get some pretty good cured meats, cheese and a bottle of wine quite easily and enjoy them at home. When I think about what makes me want to return to a restaurant, often it has to do with how easily I could recreate the experience at home. If it is something I don’t even want to attempt, then I know I’ll be returning to the restaurant. If I can recreate the meal myself, well then I am less likely to return. With that being said, however, there is something to be said for ambience, which, as I mentioned above, Bar Bricco has in spades.
It’s so great to see Daniel Costa continuing to add to and innovate within the Edmonton food scene and I am really looking forward to seeing what his third restaurant will be like.