Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Casual Italian Restaurant in Calgary

Following our first full day in Calgary and our short drive in the nearby Alberta countryside, we headed back toward our hotel.  As we’d begun our drive, we’d been looking for a restaurant whose cuisine appealed to us and that looked interesting.  We noted an Italian restaurant…and as we ended our early evening drive, we made a beeline in its direction… 

This is Chianti Willow Park on MacLeod Trail South in Calgary.  We didn’t know it at the time, (I hadn’t checked this restaurant on Trip Advisor), but Chianti is one of a chain of five restaurants of the same name in Alberta and Saskatchewan.  It was nice that the patio dining area was surrounded with small evergreen trees…providing some privacy and a little barrier between the parking lot and MacLeod Trail.

The interior of Chianti is simple and straightforward…nothing fancy.  A bit of brick, the hanging lights and a few framed items completed the décor. 
Of course, as long as a restaurant is clean and the service is satisfactory, our real focus is always on the food! 

We started out with an order of Calamari. ($9.00) We were surprised when these large calamari ‘rings’ were served.  We’d never seen anything like these before!  The marinara sauce was good and we enjoyed this version of fried calamari…

Well…we were on our summer trip...we would call it a vacation if we weren't retired...and we’d spent most of a very good but long day at Calgary’s Heritage Park.  We felt that we’d ‘earned’ a little pre-dinner alcoholic beverage.  Laurie went for this summer special martini.  She said it was yummy!
Cold appetizers on the menu include an Antipasto Platter for 2 ($19.99), and an Italian Salad for 2 ($10.99).  There are also 5 different soups ranging from Zuppa Stracciatella, (whipped egg and chicken broth), to Zuppa di Cipolla, (baked onion soup with mozzarella cheese) Soup prices ranged from $4.99 to $5.50.

I’m not much of a drinker but I do enjoy an occasional glass of Scotch, Jack Daniels, white wine…or just a beer.  I’m not adventurous when it comes to beer, so I went with a mild Canadian lager. 
Chianti offers a wide range of hot appetizers.  The more imaginative offerings include Lumache al Cognac…snails sautéed in a cognac garlic sauce ($7.50), and; Portabello al Limone, sliced portabello mushrooms sautéed in a lemon garlic wine sauce. ($8.99) There are 14 hot appetizers on the menu! 

Laurie’s entrée was the Veal Apino…veal medallions with capers, mushrooms and onions in a Dijon cream sauce. ($14.99) She enjoyed her dinner with the roasted potatoes and other vegetables added to her positive experience. 
Chianti offers 3 pasta and veal combinations, 9 seafood dishes, 8 veal dishes and 6 chicken entrees.  The most expensive items in these groupings are the Ciopino al Chianti…calamari, prawns, scallops, clams, mussels and pesto tomato sauce served over lingquini, and Modigliani…scampi, prawns, scallops, mussels, peas and fresh tomatoes in a spicy curry cream sauce served over linguini.  (Both of these offerings are $20.99)

For my dinner, I went with the Spaghetti alla Carbonara. ($12.00) This consisted of bacon, eggs, butter and parmesan with spaghetti noodles.  One could choose between a ‘dry’ or ‘creamy’ version and I went with the creamy one.  There was lots of flavor and I found this meal to be very satisfying! 
There are no less than 25 pasta creations listed on Chianti’s menu.  The price range is quite narrow with pasta entrees ranging from $10.50 to $11.99.  This restaurant also offers 10 ‘filled pasta’ entrees.  These include tortellini, cannelloni, ravioli and lasagna.  As with the other pasta offerings, none of these ‘filled pastas’ cost more than $11.99.
Chianti has a casual friendly atmosphere, service is very competent and the food is better than average with decent quantities served at a fair price.  This location of Chianti is located at #444, 10816 McLeod Trail South in Calgary.  Phone: 403- 225-0010.  Chianti’s website is at 
Our next blog will focus on the Gasoline Alley Museum at Heritage Park and the museum’s collection of vintage autos, trucks and related materials…
Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…
Thanks for stopping by for an Italian dinner!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. I love Italian food! and especially love Laurie's entrée David:))

  2. Looks like you went into the right place.

  3. Carbonara? Good choice Dave! All the food looks appetizing, I love fried calamaris. What a charming place!

  4. Dear Dave, I am glad that you and Laurie found the food enjoyable. I love fried calamari myself.
    Blessings, Catherine

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