The secret to Tuscan food is its deceptive simplicity. Minimal, quality ingredients maximize the flavours. Curtis cites Bonterra’s linguini carbonara as a good example. Featuring just egg yolk, grana padano cheese and wild boar bacon, the full-flvoured dish has remained on the menu since Bonterra opened. This elegant ethic runs throughout the menu.
And as Tuscany is known as the breadbasket of Italy, Bonterra’s focaccia is an important part of every meal. With a batch coming out of the oven every 20 minutes, it's always served fresh. “It’s also the perfect vessel to eat the tomato sauce and the marinara," says Curtis. "People will make their own meatball subs with it.”
Up a short flight of stairs from the main floor and through a stone gable is The Wine Room, so named for the numerous bottles of Italian wine tucked in its neat racks. This tidy collection illustrates the extent of the restaurant's generous wine list and also reinforces the importance of wine to Italian cuisine. Being self contained, it is perfect for semi-private parties and functions. When it’s not booked, it’s smaller size (compared to the main room) lends itself to intimate dining.
And during the summer months, Bonterra's patio is like an Italian garden: a pergola suspends hanging plants, high walls block out the city and extra warmth is provided by two fireplaces when needed. “It’s such an oasis,” says Curtis. “If you squint a little, you might think you’re in Italy, not Calgary.”
Culinary tourists can indulge in Bonterra's Tuscan mealtime vacation seven nights a week and at lunch time on weekdays." >
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