La Vita e Bella
401 - 12th Avenue SE
Went to lunch with Slim Zaidi today. The original plan was to check out Olives at the Arriva tower but they were closed for a private function (Apparently we were not the VIP), so we ended up going to La Vita e Bella. Located in the historic Dafoe building by the Saddledome, the simplicity of the decor created a very relaxing atmosphere yet it felt elegant at the same time.
We ordered the calamari to start. The graham cracker wasn't super crispy like other places but it wasn't soggy either. When combined with the tender calamari, it was amazing. The tomato sauce was very mild so not to muffle the taste of the calamari.
For the entree, I had the ricotta gnocchi in bison bolognese. The bolognese sauce was very flavourful and complimented the gnocchi very well. Delicious! Definitely worth checking out if you are into Italian cuisines.
#130 207 - 9th Avenue SW
The original Sukiyaki House was located in the basement of a building on 10th Ave. It was a little dark but had a traditional feel to it. The restaurant was closed a few years ago and the building was demolished to make way for some condos (I believe it is still a giant hole in the ground). Fast forward to 2009 and Sukiyaki House has reopened on the main floor of the new Penn West Plaza on 9th Ave. Gone are the traditional decor and replaced with more contemporary furnishing. Full height windows allows plenty of natural light in.
I got the Chirashi, which is basically a bowl of rice topped with sashimi. Sukiyaki House seem to have put a neat little spin to it and the presentation is top notch. Rather than putting it in a bowl, it's a giant slab of rice topped with sashimi. It kind of takes the form of a dragon. Or a shrimp of sorts. The deep fried amaebi head (which you can eat and is delicious) is at the front, followed by the tako, sake with a mango sauce and finished with unagi at the tail. There's more stuff in the middle but I'm too lazy to list it all. A little pricey but it was very good!