Giorgio’s Trattoria – Banff Alberta

I’ve been to Giorgio’s Trattoria in Banff before – a few years ago, but never for lunch. This time, we stopped in for a relaxing lunch and it was great! We got a table outside and it was a great way to spend the afternoon.

We started with an appetizer of Atlantic Mussels which was a big bowl of PEI mussels cooked in a tomato fennel sauce. The mussels were really plump and fresh, so they were really good. The sauce was tasty and not over powering and not water downed either. It was a great dish and set the bar for a really good lunch ahead!

I ordered their Canadian Pizza which I thought was an individual sized pizza. It turns out to be quite large so I ended bringing half of it home. The pizza crust was really good, and hand generous amount of toppings making the pizza quite delightful.

Then, it wouldn’t be an Italian place if we don’t eat pasta – especially they advertise themselves for homemade fresh pasta, so we ordered a bowl of Spaghetti Bolognese where we added meatballs to the meal. The pasta was delicious and the meatballs – tons of flavour. The sauce they used was a meat and tomato sauce which I thought was a little bit watery so it wasn’t as flavourful as it could be.

Overall, we still love this place. Even though so many years has passed, it still has great food, great service and a wonderful ambiance. It’s always worth the price tag for a treat so great!

Giorgio's Trattoria on Urbanspoon

Giorgio’s Trattoria

219 Banff Avenue
Banff, AB
(403) 762-5114

Aglio E Olio Food Truck – Calgary

As you can all tell now, I really like food trucks, and when they’re at Deerfoot Meadows on Saturdays, I’m most likely going to visit them. This one particular Saturday, Aglio E Olio was there, and it was my first time seeing them! They offer pasta from a truck, and the portion sizes are huge for only $10! It is a little more costly than other food trucks, but the amount of pasta you get, it’s incredible!

From this truck, we didn’t know how big the portions were until after we received our order. We actually got a pasta each, which was fine – we just had a smaller dinner! 🙂 I love Gnocchi when they’re done right, as they transform potatoes into pillows of light and softness! So, I ordered their Gnocchi Bolognese which was of course gnocchi with a spicy pomodoro meat sauce!! It was a wonderful and filling lunch, and I was satisfied to no end! On top of the great gnocchi, it had a huge piece of garlic toast, and I have been in love with garlic toast since I was really young!

The other plate of pasta that we ordered was their Penne Arrabiata, which was a plate of penne – which we love!! It is topped with with sausage and pomodoro sauce which in a way is similiar to the gnocchi, but the use of sausages instead of the ground meat changes everything!

This was a great truck to visit! I really enjoyed the Gnocchi with the Meat sauce – so if you’re looking for some starch, and some delicious topping, nothing really beats their Gnocchi Bolognese! I hope it’s there next time I run into this food truck!

Aglio E Olio on Urbanspoon

Homemade Crockpot Pasta Penne

Home Made Tomato Ground Beef Penne Pasta in Slow Cooker

Some times, it’s even hard to find 2 to 3 hours to make a lunch or dinner, and all there is is basic staples in your fridge/pantry. It’s not a problem, be inspired to change up the recipe with what’s in available to you!

Ingredients: (serves 4)
1 lb Ground Beef
2 sticks of Carrots
1/2 an onions
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp thyme
Penne Pasta
2 cups of Tomato Sauce
1/2 or 1 cup of Beef stock

First, if you have the time, brown the onions, ground beef, and garlic to develop more flavours. I didn’t have too much time, so I just placed everything into the crockpot.

You can then put in either pre-made pasta sauce, or you can make your own by flavouring up some crushed tomatoes with tomato sauce. If you’re making pasta sauce and you eat it a lot, it’s nice to make a giant batch and leave it in the fridge so it’s ready when you need some!

Then, you’re ready to put your pasta in! I just place the pasta in, and mixed it around for a bit. Set the crock pot on high for 1-2 hours or low for 2-3 hours. Add a splash of beef stock or water if your sauce is a little thicker before you close the lid and leave it for some time.

To enjoy, grate some cheese and season up the penne! It makes a great left over dish too!

Boston Pizza Chinook Centre – Calgary, Alberta

This particular evening we were wanting to eat at Boston Pizza which is somewhere we use to go a lot, but has cut down. We went to the Chinook Centre location as it’s not only convenient, but we could also get some Christmas shopping afterwards! This location is one of the newest locations in Calgary, and I think it’s great!

I ordered the Baked Chipotle Bacon Penne which was excellent, with a nice spicy smokey chipotle taste which was kind of subtle, but enough to detect. This plate of penne was a large portion but was really good – it was penne with creamy alfredo sauce tossed with mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, and cheese. Then to make it extra special, they put a nice layer of cheese on top and baked it to oozy gooey yumminess!

For the pizza, we ordered Spicy Perogy Pizza and this was such a different type of pizza. Instead of your typical tomato pizza sauce, they use sour cream, and they line the pizza with potato slices. The toppings was delicious and it had lots of smoky bacon, cheese and green onions!

For dessert, even though we were super stuffed, we were convinced to try the Sticky Toffee Pudding and we’re so happy that we tried it. It was a delicious steamed chocolate sponge cake, topped with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream smothered with rich caramel sauce.

The food at this location was phenomenal, and the service overall was excellent. The prices was right, and you’ll never know what kind of new menu items you’ll find from Boston Pizza. It’s not your typical Pizza Chain as it offers not only your usual suspects at a pizza joint, but it offers new and exciting menu items and even specialty items like gluten free dishes.

Boston Pizza in Calgary Chinook Center

232 – 6455 Macleod Trail SW Map
Calgary, AB
(403) 255-2525

Lupo – Wolfgang Puck

Dinner in Vegas is always interesting, but we made it over to the Mandalay Bay Resort where we decided to eat at Wolfgang Puck‘s first Italian Restaurant called Trattoria del Lupo. We didn’t make any reservations, but the wait was about 30 minutes – which isn’t bad considering last time we went to Vegas, we had to have reservations for every dinner place we ate at – otherwise, they had nothing available! The dining room at Lupo was quite large, and they were able to squish a lot of tables in to accommodate a lot of seating.

Lupo - Patio dining at Mandalay Bay

Our first impression when we finally got in was it was quite dark and romantic. It was interesting as we sat at the tables behind the bar, and the hostess had to ull out the table to let us sit into the banquettes – and then after seated, they pushed the table back in.

Lupo - Breadsticks with white bean sauce and roasted garlic in evoo

The service was great, and after we were seated, we were brought our drinks and awesome Breadsticks. The breadsticks were really thin and long, and from the look, you can immediately tell they were home-made. These long crispy breadsticks was accompanied with roasted garlic and olive oil dip and white bean sauce. It was really fun to break off pieces of this delicious bread and dip into either sauce.

Lupo - Bucatini all Amatriciana

The dinner entrees was excellent! I ordered the Bucatini all’ “Amatriciana” which was house made pasta with roasted onions, pancetta, tomatoes, chili flakes, basil and pecorino. Pecorino would be sheep or ewe’s milk cheese (a hard cheese), and even though I thought it would be strong, they didn’t use a lot, so the dish was perfectly balanced, especially with the saltiness of the pancetta. This dish was excellent, the texture of the pasta was really good, and all the ingredients was fresh – and the plate of pasta just seemed really light. It was one of the best pasta dishes I’ve had in a long time – if not ever!

Lupo - Scialatielli

The other entrees we enjoyed was Scialatielli “Ai Quattro Passi” which was also house made thick noodle pasta but with “Quattro Passi”, sausage bolognese, cream, basil and Parmesan cheese. This is a much heavier pasta dish that really fills you right up – not only was it a nice meaty dish with the sausage bolognese, but it had a nice thick cream sauce. The flavours of the meat sauce was so hearty and excellent, it really was a dish to remember!

Lupo - Lamb loin

Finally, the last dish was not a pasta dish, but it was Filetto d’Agnello which was marinated bone-in lamb loin with garlic spinach, chanterelle mushrooms, tomatoes and Gorgonzola cheese.

Overall, we were extremely satisfied with Lupo and will be returning in the near future as they were able to provide us with great food, great service and all for a really great price! We were really shocked about the quality and the portion size from Lupo, so we have no negative thoughts to tell you about!

Lupo (Mandalay Bay) on Urbanspoon

Trattoria del Lupo

3950 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas
(702) 740-5522