Restaurant Review: Scopa

>> Wednesday, August 27, 2014

We’ve been talking about Europe a lot lately, how we miss the scenery, the coffee, wine and most importantly the food. We really should plan for another visit soon, but until that can happen we heard of a new restaurant in town that was cooking rustic Italian in the Tuxedo area of town. Since it’s so close to home we had to drop in one evening.

Atmosphere: An intimate dining room with rustic charm making one feel like they’ve stepped in to the countryside of Italy.

Price Range: Mid $10s - $20s

Food and Wine: Their pane selections sounded divine and we decided to order the Polenta Bread to start. Composed of creamy polenta, smoked pancetta and topped with buttery goodness, sweet honey and chilies, it was an exquisite first bite and introduction to our meal. I easily could have eaten the whole order and more, but reminded myself that we’ve only just begun our meal.

Our first appetizer were the Polpettes, moist veal meatballs topped with a tomato based marinara sauce and lots of grana padano. The meatballs were incredible! They were very well seasoned and generously portioned. Each bite of the meatballs was a burst of flavour and the marinara was the perfect complement. I felt like I was invited in to the home of an Italian grandmother. I relished the sauce and even used it as an accompaniment to the Calamari, our second appetizer.

The calamari was lightly coated in batter and fried, served with arugula, pickled cucumbers and mild chilies. I liked the contrast of the pickled cucumbers and chilies providing the needed punch of flavour, but did find that it was still missing an element and found the marinara from the polpettes to be the perfect addition. The main course was the Ippoglosso, pan seared halibut with asparagus, fingerling potatoes and pepperonata, Italian for slow cooked peppers with onions and garlic. The dish was light and fresh where the ingredients elevated the halibut as opposed to overwhelming it. The fish itself was well cooked with each portion showcasing a nice crisp exterior while remaining flaky inside.

For dessert we wanted to end with something that wasn’t overly too rich, so we ordered the Panna Cotta. The White Chocolate Panna Cotta was the perfect dessert. Light and refreshing, it was a perfect balance of sweetness and acidity. The buttermilk complimented the tangy berries and the praline provided a nice texture contrast making for a perfect summer dessert.

My Picks: Polenta Bread, Polpette Veal Meatballs

Overall: Great portion sizes and delicious menu selections made our visit to Scopa quite memorable not unlike some of the food we experience in Italy. We might not be heading to Italy right away, but we can definitely stop by Scopa whenever we are craving some Italian.

2220 Centre St. NE
Calgary, AB
(403) 276-2030

Scopa Neighbourhood Italian on Urbanspoon


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