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Sunday 7 August 2011

Sicilian Pasta Kitchen Downtown Edmonton AB - Tasty huge servings of Italian fare... save room for tiramisu!

Rating Service 7/10 Food 8/10
Its been a little while since I've been to the Sicilian Pasta Kitchen. It used to be a favorite haunt for me and my girlfriends during our University years, and we avoided it for the last little while to let them work out their service issues. Drawn back by the memory of their excellent tiramisu, we're glad to give Sicilian Pasta Kitchen another gastronomical jaunt.  The decor hasn't changed much in the last 10years or so in the downtown location.  Dark scuffed up tables and chairs with white napkins and little alcohol tea lights are situated in an open dining room with large blackboards depicting tonight's daily specials hung on the walls.  You can catch glimpses of the chefs tossing together pasta creations in the semi open kitchen in the back.

the FOOD
The wine selection is mediocre (unless you must have a glass of table wine with your meal), so we skip straight to the food. The portion sizes at Sicilian Pasta Kitchen are generous, so all dishes can be ordered as a half order. Most of us go for a full order so we don't have to worry about lunch tomorrow. Sauces are no longer made with your order, so unfortunately, you can't ask the kitchen to cut back on the cream or skip a certain ingredient within the sauces.

First up for the night is a special Ground veal lasagna in tomato cream sauce. Layers of seasoned tender ground veal and soft lasagna is smothered in a tangy super tomatoey tomato sauce that isn't surprisingly overwhelmed by a puddle of rich cream sauce the lasagna is crowned with. The whole thing is held together with plenty of ooey gooey cheesey mozzarella and a smash of parsley for color. Mmmmmm. Now that's a lasagna!

The Linguini Granchio has always been a go to for me (as well as a several other foodies at our table) and it arrived with slightly less crab meat but more scallops than I remembered. Tender bits of shredded crab leg meat,  lots of toothsome seared scallops, two slightly overcooked medium shrimp is tossed in a creamy rich garlic and wine wine laden cream sauce dotted with fresh (if unripened) diced tomatoes and scallions.  Add in a hit of Parmesan (sadly they use the powdered stuff and not freshly grated) and you have a homey seafoody pasta feast.  Just eat it quick, as the creamy sauce tends to become too thick and a bit cloying if you let the pasta absorb too much of the sauce.

A fellow foodie had the Pasticco Assortito 1/2 Capellini Pomodoro and 1/2 Cavatoni with baby lobster, arugula and diced tomato in cream sauce, a duo special of the night.  The lobster side was studded with a handful of shelled savory and tender lobster meat with the twisty cavatoni pasta covered in a rich lobstery cream sauce.  The other side had some angelhair pasta smothered in a tangy light tomato sauce which contrasted nicely against the super rich lobster sauce side.

Another two of our foodies friend went with the Penne alla Diavola, a big pile of al dente penne tossed in a faintly spicy cayenne pepper cream sauce.  The sauce was light despite the inherent cream - the richness held back by pureed tomatoes incorporated into the sauce.  With plenty of sauteed baby lobster, diced sauteed chicken and tomato bits to round things out, this was a hearty bowl of pasta.

Mmmm. Dessert, my favorite course! One of my fellow foodies shared the Chocolate mousse cake... a richly dense and indulgent slice of chocolately goodness with layers of milk, white and dark chocolate cake interspersed with layers of thick dense chocolate mouse and topped with rich, slightly sticky chocolate fudge.  Best shared as it becomes quite a dense chocolate overload fairly quickly.  The plate is laced with a dark chocolate syrup and caramel sauce to make it pretty.
Last, but not least, is Sicilian Pasta Kitchen's infamous (and award winning) tiramisu. Served in a goblet, layers of silky creamy marscapone cheese goo, crumbled cake/ladyfingers laced with espresso, whipped cream and chocolate sauce is topped with a sprinkle of dark chocolate shavings. Rich, indulgent mmmm... the award is well deserved.  Probably the best tiramisu you can get in Alberta (and I've tried most of the outstanding places in Calgary). Truly the heart and soul of Italian desserts. Nom!

Overall, a good place to grab a large Italian pasta dinner with friends with an excellent tiramisu and pot of mussels (didn't have tonight) just remember to pack half your meal home so you have plenty of lunch the next day. Did you try the tiramisu yet? Mmmmm.

Sicilian Pasta Kitchen downtown
Address 11239 Jasper Avenue Northwest, Edmonton, AB
Phone (780) 488-3838
Hours Mon-Thurs 11am-10:30pm, Fri 11am-11:30pm, Sat 12pm-11:30pm,
Sun 12pm-10:00pm
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Kim Huynh said...

The food is always excellent! no doubt about it... i miss going there on a weekly basis Janjan... hahahah aren't you nice today to offer a 7 for their service. I would say a 5 at the rude those people. Unless the waiters have change in the last 3 months...i love the pasta but their waiter and waitress needs to take a class on customer service. You didn't have the musscles that's unheard of. We ALWAYS have muscles and then pack the food for lunch the next day!

nomnomnom said...

Hey Kimchee.. the waitstaff have been all changed over. The service wasn't bad (and not outright rude as their previous waitstaff were) and the waitress we had that night made a genuine effort. Heehee.. we didn't have the "muscle" mussels cuz they weren't able to make their old sauce for us anymore... they premake all their sauces, so there's no way of tweaking the sauces to your liking.

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