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“Pros and cons”

Villa Maria - Calgary
Ranked #406 of 3,624 Restaurants in Calgary
Price range: $25 - $41
Cuisines: Italian
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: mcleod trail
Reviewed June 28, 2012

The restaurant is quite pleasant and, on a Wed evening, nearly empty. The six of us were shown to a nice, round table which enabled us to see everyone without the dreaded neck crane. We did not get any bruchetta as previous reviewers did but were served coolish whole wheat buns and butter. Our server was very attentive. The food was quite tasty but the portions were incredibly small; much smaller than I expected. The free parking is an enticement and the wine / beer list is fairly extensive. I will go again but hope I don't leave hungry as I did last night, even tho' I had a starter as well as an entree!

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2  Thank oliver400
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (31)
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26 - 30 of 31 reviews

Reviewed June 25, 2012

We typically LOVE small, owner run, italian restaurants. Not this time.
Pros: Free Bruchetta (quite oily though), warm dinner rolls served free with meal, intimate setting, extensive menu
Cons: unacceptably small portions for 6 out of 8 dishes ordered, food was barely lukewarm (all plates except lasagna), lackluster service (appertizer plates stayed on our table until end of our meal), prices are high for poor quality of food.
Only 1 out of the 5 of us was "satisfied" with the meal and experience.
-Ravioli plate had 4 pieces for $25 (cheese in center wasn't melted but rather tepid to touch)
-Shrimp appetizer, $11, consisted of 5 shrimp each the size of a toonie
-gnocchi was "excessively pasty", I make it better and I'm NO cook!
-pollo cacciatore bland
Bill was $180 +tip(I only tipped 10% which is UNHEARD of for me, a former, usually sympathtic, server - but service and experience merited it) for 5 (one being a child) and only 3 of us had appetizers, and only 2 glasses of wine were ordered.

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2  Thank CarrieinAB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2012

Recommend you make a reservation. Glad we did.

Friendly welcome at the front door, shown to our table immediately and looked after for the evening by pleasant, friendly wait staff and were brought a free delicious bruchetta appetizer once we had ordered beverages, which we eat while we comtemplated the menu.

The bruchetta was just a teaser for the wonderful meal that followed: For the appetizzer we each ordered a Caesar Salad, which had a very nice light dressing and shared Calamari Alla Napoletana. We picked the red sauce option for the calamari and the sauce was so good we were spooning it up like soup and dipping our bread in it, as we didn't want to leave a single drop. For our main course, my husband ordered the Fettucine Di Mare, which was pasta with shrimp, scampi and garlic in a creamy sauce. I tasted his and will try it next time. I ordered my favourite Italian pasta option, the Penne Puttanesca, which is penne pasta with garlic, capers and black olives in a tomato sauce, also very good; nicely spicey, but not too spicey. The meal came with warm Italian rolls and there was no problem getting extras when we asked. We used up our first set on the calimari sauce! We were offered the dessert menu, but declined as we were deliciously stuffed! Maybe next time.

The restaurant is lovely inside with ample free parking in the lot behind. We were there in the evening and the lighting was low and intimate, just right for our date night, but there was a large family group there enjoying the atmosphere as well. Although, it got much quieter in the room after the family group left. Unlike some restaurants, we never had a problem hearing each other across the table nor did we feel that we were being overheard by nearby tables. There were large windows on the north and east sides of the restaurant, which I'm sure make for a well lit atmosphere during the day, perfect for the lunch crowd.

Not only was the food delicious, but the price was right. We shared an appetizer, each had salad, and an entree for $85, including tip and GST. I think that is pretty good for fine evening dining in Calgary.

We will definitely eat here again.

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2  Thank Alectric9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 6, 2012

I have been to this restaurant three times in the last one year. The food is great, and the owner is very generous. Free bruschettas, and other items too.

One of it's biggest advantages is the free parking, a rarity in 17th Ave SW.

1  Thank Sandeepina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
Reviewed December 12, 2007

weird decor but excellent food.

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