You may have seen on social media or on previous blog posts that I’ve been doing a bit of collaboration with TopDish.ca – things like submitting photos and ratings, winning gift cards in their draws (!) and most recently partnering with them to highlight some of Calgary’s unsung culinary gems.
Top Dish recently partnered with Scarpetta Italian Eatery to invite a few local bloggers and social media influencers to try out their menu and let them know what we think about the restaurant! I was thrilled to participate, as this is a place I’d already enjoyed once for a big group lunch with colleagues. This time, I brought my husband and a big appetite knowing Scarpetta would be comping us at the end of the meal for approximately the price of a round of cocktails.
SO start out with cocktails we did! Specifically, we tried the elderflower mojito ($11) as well as their take on a twisted iced tea ($11). Both were super refreshing and a perfect aspirational cocktail when staring out the window at the melting March snow, but our fave was the twisted tea for sure. Their housemade iced tea was infused with lemon and mint, then spiked with Grey Goose vodka and amaretto – smooth, sweet and crave-worthy.
One thing I’d tried on my previous visit that I insisted Matt experience for himself was their sambuca prawns ($15) with fennel and red chillies. Absolute heaven! The prawns were enormous, plump, juicy and soaked in a drinkable sambuca sauce. The order comes with 7 pieces, but we were offered the opportunity to upgrade to an eighth – we kind of regretted agreeing to split the last one! Absolutely delectable.
Our server suggested an order of focaccia ($6) with the prawns to help soak up some of that beautiful liquid. Spoiler alert: she wasn’t wrong. Because of Scarpetta’s open kitchen concept, we were able to watch the cooks prep and bake our bread fresh and we could smell it on its way to the table. YES.
We were there on a Tuesday and learned that Wednesday is the best night to go while they do half price pizza and pasta! I’m not one to storm out of a restaurant because I missed a deal, so I struggled through this adversity by ordering and polishing off a beautiful bowl of gnocchi ($19) with truffle and cream. This dish was heavy, dense, filling, whatever you want to call it, but the flavours were gorgeous and I’d definitely order it again – just maybe not on an evening when I have any chores to do after dinner!
It was simple, it was classic and it was (to my surprise!) my favourite item of the night. Scarpetta uses 00 flour imported from Italy, resulting in a thin, tender crust that holds up well against moist toppings. There was no pool of grease hiding underneath this cheesy beauty! Though that may have had something to do with the rapid rate at which we scarfed our slices. I don’t mean to brag, but I ate my half dutifully while Matt had to bring one of his slices home. Again, not tooting my own horn, but I very graciously allowed him to eat it the next day instead of stealing it for myself. Marriage #goals, you might say!
I absolutely love seeing places like Scarpetta (1003 9 Ave SE) succeeding in Calgary – you’ve got a gorgeous venue with tons of natural light, tasty food and cocktails, reasonable prices plus a great location in a lovely neighbourhood packed full of locally owned businesses. There’s even a few free parking spots right outside the restaurant! I highly recommend you stop by for pizza and pasta deals on Wednesdays, for appies or dinner with friends or even a team lunch with your coworkers (but only the ones who will support you on your gluttonous journey). It was a pleasure to stop in and I can’t wait to come back for more!