Location: 300-20 Crowfoot Crescent NW
To find a restaurant review written on a place I go to with my parents is rare because I hardly ever take pictures, so keep that in mind if you read any of my future reviews and they are pictureless.
Chianti is one of my favourite Italian restaurants, the other being Green Olive. I love that their pasta is actually al dente not mush. But pasta texture isn’t everything, the flavour must be taken into consideration as well.
As usual, we started with an appetizer, calamari, which I’ve come to be quite the expert on. The batter on the calamari was quite crunchy and well seasoned, but after a few rings began to feel heavy due to the greasiness. I liked that they offered two types of sauces for dipping: tzatziki and marinara. It seems that several restaurants are now offering two dips with their calamari. Last week I was just at Milestones trying out their new menu and when we ordered the calamari they had a tartar and a marinara. Unfortunately, I hold an ambivalent stance in terms of the calamari at Milestones (though I’ve done my review on this restaurant, I must add this) because sometimes Milestones makes the mistake of not seasoning the batter for the calamari thinking that the dips would provide enough flavour or perhaps they’re concerned that in seasoning the calamari, it will be too salty. Whatever their reasoning is, I don’t know, but it leaves the calamari bland and rather difficult to eat. At Chianti’s I liked that the tzatziki sauce was a little on the thick side as there is nothing more annoying than wearing a garlic sauce on your clothes all night. One thing I would have preferred for the marinara is a bit of heat. A bit of heat or acidity would have helped to cut through the grease. It’s true that they gave us a wedge of lemon, but there was hardly enough lemon juice to taste a thing.
Italian isn’t something I get to go out for much as my sister dislikes it as much as I dislike sushi. It is tolerable, but not something she would choose to eat of her own free will. Whenever we go out, my mom always goes for something seafood-y, usually salmon. She ordered the Salmon Alla Peppi, which was a piece of salmon, baked and topped with fresh strawberries, glazed with a honey and soy reduction and served with vegetables and potatoes. From what I glean from my mom, the dish had too much soy sauce in there and was way too salty, she said that Green Olive had the right balance was was much better in terms of taste. My dad ordered the combinazione della casa, which is something that he almost always gets either at Chianti’s or at Green Olive. I’ve had it at both and it’s pretty decent, especially when you want a variety of food. The combinazione della casa comes with baked cannelloni, spinach fettuccine alfredo, and veal parmigiana. It’s the best dish when you want to have both a cream sauce and tomato sauce (but not a rose sauce). My dad complained that his dish wasn’t really hot and pasta and veal should never be eaten warm or cold, especially since the cheese didn’t look like it had melted or at least if it did, it resolidified. I ordered the Caribbean Fettuccine, not for the fact there are mango chunks in it because I dislike cooked or warm mango, but for the curry cream sauce which is seriously the best! And I also love that they have fresh parmesan, not the powdered stuff.
The price was reasonable and affordable as Italian restaurants in this city always seems to overprice things (or at least the ones I’ve been to). I would definitely come back with friends for a good Italian night out. I would rate this place 4.5/5. Hopefully next time I go, I can take a few pictures.
UPDATE: I returned here today and got some pictures (YAY!) Unfortunately the restaurant is kind of dark, plus there was quite a lot of overcast so even with flash these pictures were dark and though I did my best to increase contrast and brighten the images, they still aren’t of the best quality. These two are what I usually order as I absolutely love their curry cream sauce and the combinazione della casa always gives me the choice of cream and tomato sauce on the same plate. One thing I forgot to mention last time is that I love their fresh parmesan so much that I never tell them to stop and they just look at me like “ok, that’s enough,” but really if I had it my own way, I’d eat the entire block of parmesan