Hubby celebrated his birthday recently and I asked him to choose where he would like to have dinner. Originally, he wanted to have Chinese but then a week after he felt like pizza so we originally planned to dine at Una Pizza and Wine. Unfortunately for us, when we arrived they didn’t have any tables left for 3 and there was about a 45 minute wait. He decided to go elsewhere so we started wandering down 17th and came upon Borgo Trattoria. He took a quick gander at the menu and thought it was worth trying and thankfully for us they have high chairs so it was settled. We were seated quickly and offered drinks. The restaurant was only about a quarter full at that time so the server placed a lot of attention on us. He took the time to explain the menu and the sharing concept. A lot of their small plates seemed worth trying and I wished we actually had more stomach space to try more of them.
We started with the Arancino ($3/pc) and it was wonderfully crispy on the outside and creamy and cheesy on the inside. It was like highly flavorful and I would definitely recommend ordering this. I wouldn’t try to eat very many though as it is quite rich.
We were both interested in trying the Melanzane ($9) – eggplant fries. We all enjoyed these even our toddler but then again it is deep fried and who doesn’t love deep fried foods. The eggplant was fried perfectly, crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. The yogurt dipping sauce had an anise flavor from the fennel seed which helped cut the greasiness of the eggplant but I can’t put a finger on whether I liked it or not. Overall, the dish was decent but I don’t think I’d necessarily order this again. We had also wanted to try the lamb but our server advised us that we had ordered quite a bit of food and wasn’t sure if we could finish everything so we took that off our order. Looking back, I wished we had kept it anyways.
I was trying to decide between the orecchiette or linguine for our toddler but hubby did not feel like linguine so we settled for the Orecchiette with smoked bacon, broccoletti and roasted garlic ($18). The pasta was cooked al dente and the overall dish was mainly flavored from the bacon. Not a bad thing if you love bacon but I did find it a bit overpowering. Our toddler loved it though.
We shared the Orecchio D’elefante ($42) as our main – a huge 14oz bone-in veal chop with a side of salad and a mountain of fries. The veal chop was cooked to a medium and was tender but could’ve used a bit more seasoning as it tasted quite bland. The salad was refreshing and the tomatoes were perfectly ripe and sweet. The fries were actually truffle fries and seasoned very well. I couldn’t help wishing for some aioli to dip my fries in though.
The service was really good up to the point of us receiving our food but it all went downhill after that. After our server checked up on how the food was we never saw him again. No one came by to refill our waters and it must’ve been a good 10-15 minutes after our meal when someone came by to clear our dishes and pack up our pasta dish. I realize, it was at this time that the restaurant really started to fill up but it’s no excuse to completely ignore your other guests. One gentlemen, whom I assume was the Floor Manager asked us how the food was and if service was good. We enjoyed the food but the service was far from being ok. If we were not there to celebrate hubby’s birthday I would’ve filed a complaint but I didn’t want to ruin his birthday.
We asked to see the dessert menu cause it was hubby’s birthday after all so we couldn’t leave without having dessert. The Panna Cotta ($8) sounded wonderful so we decided to share that and it definitely surpassed our expectations. The “custard” itself was creamy and just barely set so it was still firm enough to hold its shape but was still soft and luscious. The tart blueberries paired perfectly with it.
After we finished our dessert, our son started to get fussy from staying seated for so long so my husband took him outside. I sat at the table with the empty dessert plate for 10 minutes waiting for someone to stop by to clear our table and bring us the bill. Several servers and the Floor Manager walked by the table and noticed the empty plate but did nothing. So I continued to sit there for 10 – 15 minutes until the Floor Manager finally approached our table to clear the dish. There was no apology for the wait and I’m pretty sure I did not look impressed. He went off to print off my bill and when he had it all ready he decided to take it for a spin around the restaurant first before handing it to the Hostess who in turn brought it to my table. I have never received such awful service or seen such disregard for patrons at a restaurant before. Although the food was good, I will not be returning as my overall experience and impression of the restaurant was truly unpleasant. There are many other restaurants in Calgary who do appreciate their guests and go out of their way to ensure they leave with a pleasant experience. They are the ones who deserve my money, time and business.
818 16 Ave SW
Calgary, AB T2S 0B7