When Byron and I were back visiting Edmonton this summer I knew we had to visit Uccellino, the latest restaurant from Edmonton’s culinary golden boy, Chef Daniel Costa. I love his first restaurant, Corso 32, so I was quite keen to see how his newest venture would stack up.
We arrived at the restaurant at 6:30 for our reservation and the place was packed. My Mom, Dad, Nick and Lauren also joined us for dinner, which meant we not only enjoyed some wonderful dinner companions but we also got to try a whole bunch of different menu items.
I ordered the Nectarine Bellini, which was a safe, but delicious choice. What can I say though, I love a good Bellini.
Surprisingly (especially for those who really know me) the Spring Salad was one of my favourite dishes of the evening. The salad was so fresh and light and just bursting with flavour. If all salads tasted this delicious I’d happily eat a lot more vegetables.
The Crostini was another knock-out in my books. I’ve always loved Corso 32’s house-made ricotta and the fresh, juicy tomatoes combined with the unexpected, yet delightful hits of mint and chili just took this dish to another level. It’s so good I’m going to have to figure out how to copycat this recipe and make it at home.
Byron and I have attempted (and failed) to make a good Caio e Pepe at home, so I was quite eager to try Chef Costa’s version and glean anything I could. The pasta, as expected, was delicious, yet incredibly simple.
Sadly I was not as big a fan of the meatballs as I hoped to be, but I think that had more to do with me being slightly picky about texture than anything else. I prefer my meatballs to have a “meatier” texture, however these ones were quite soft and almost spongey. Nothing wrong with that, just not to my taste.
All of the pastas we tried at Uccellino were delicious and one of the neat things about these dishes is that most were made with dried pasta. The ravioli was obviously fresh, but it was interesting to see and taste how Chef Costa used dried pasta, since all of the pasta options at Corso 32 use fresh pasta.
I really enjoyed my meal at Uccellino, there were some good dishes and some spectacular dishes, however it doesn’t quite top Corso 32 in my books. One of the really nice things about Uccellino, however, is that they save a good portion of the seats for walk-ins. Meaning you don’t need to book a month in advance in order to get a table like you do for Corso.
Now, despite having moved across the Country, I am still filled with hometown pride, so I would be remiss not to mention that Uccellino is Edmonton’s lone representative in Air Canada’s list of the Best New Restaurants in Canada. Voting is currently open to determine the Top Ten and I’ve been casting my ballot for Uccellino. So if you are a supporter of Edmonton’s culinary scene, click here and get your vote in!