Giorgio’s Trattoria Banff
Surprisingly Excellent Traditional Italian Food
Banff National Park, Alberta
When you run an Italian themed restaurant, having an Italian customer is the real test of the quality of your mangiare (that’s food in Italian…I think). No, you can tell from my lack of moustache / handsomeness that I am not Italian but I did have the privilege of visiting Banff’s finest Italian restaurant with a real life Italian. Whether she accompanied me for the free pasta or my intellectual conversation is unimportant. What is important is that Giorgio’s is a true gem in the heart of Banff.
The atmosphere is the first thing that grabs you in Giorgio’s as it should in any good restaurant. Luckily it is much more Monica Belluci than Everybody Loves Raymond. If you don’t know who Monica Belluci is, I recommend a Google Image search…for research purposes only obviously. Placed conveniently in the heart of Banff Avenue, once you walk through the door and down the steps, you immediately feel relaxed and ready to be spoiled.
I stuck unadventurously to the Bruschetta for starters and pepperoni pizza for main course but spent most of my time digging into my dining partners Cioppino. It was not that there was anything wrong with my choice of delicacies. Far from it, it was actually an orgy of taste; it’s just that the Cioppino was like entering a magical world where orchestras played symphonies on my tongue. I had never even heard of Cioppino let alone tasted it before that fateful eve and now this seafood soup may well share the name of my first child. Made up of prawns, mussels, spiced tomato broth, roasted fennel, grilled red snapper, seared scallops and garlic rubbed pugilese bread. It was like having the full cast of The Little Mermaid in my stomach.
The staff was quietly friendly letting us enjoy our “comfortable” silences as they brought dish after dish to us. The choice of wine is staggering and though the selection is impressive, it does not leave much option for the less financially endowed amongst us. In layman terms, stick on the water if you are broke and not trying to impress attractive Italian women who you hope to have a child called Cioppino with. My opinion was shared by my dining partner who compared it to some of the finest food she has had in Rome. Not bad for a little Banff restaurant. Great mandiare for all!