L wanted to go to Carino Riservo for his birthday. We sat at the front of the restaurant. The front window afforded a view of 4th St. We watched the snow fall and people scurry back and forth from their vehicles into the nearby restaurants and bars.
L ordered a Sapporo while I drank a glass of Collazzi Liberta, a blend of Merlot, Syrah and Sangiovese from Italy ($10). Our server told me this wine would go with everything. I love trying wines out at Carino, as they always have a selection of wines that are new to me and all affordably priced.
If you love Ahi Tuna Poke ($15), you must order it at Carino. You could tell the tuna was high quality. Cold and creamy, with no Calgary fishiness to the dish. I liked that the avocado wasn’t used as filler. This photo doesn’t do the food justice. The pretty purple garnish, radish, the slivers of green onion and occasional avocado made this dish sing (with my high praise).
Next up was a Healthy Seafood Hotpot ($16). The portion was large for an appetizer, not that I’m complaining. The broth was rich and deep. The fish, prawns and shellfish were perfectly cooked. Gnocchi, bok choy, snow peas, and mushrooms completed this bowl of delights.
L ordered the Proscuitto Wrapped Tenderloin ($25). He went crazy for the onion sauce and the juicy meat. There was quite a bit of garlic in the mushroom risotto. L doesn’t care for garlic, but I do.
I would order the Scallop and Prawn with Mushroom Risotto ($28) again. The big scallops were silky smooth inside, sweet and tender. The prawns were crunchy and delectable. The portion of risotto was large enough that I could have easily taken it home. However, I couldn’t stop eating the risotto. I wish the portion police was there that night, as self-control was absent.
Service was stellar. One table was waiting for a cab after dinner. Our server told them to wait inside while she waited outside to flag the taxi down, which took at least ten minutes. Did I mention it was a cold, snowy night? Who does that? It was refreshing to say the least. Lately, at some of my favourite restaurants, service has been less than pleasant. Not that I would bother to blog about it. Lousy service deserves an appropriately mediocre tip, but it isn’t worth writing about. Lucky for me, Carino Riserva has it all. Excellent service and amazing food. I’ll go as far to say that Carino Riserva in Mission is the most under-rated restaurant in the city. If you haven’t already, check it out. The experience won’t disappoint.