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“Excellent, tasty food, good menu”
Review of Il Sogno - CLOSED

Il Sogno
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Northwest Calgary
Cross street: Meredith Road NE/ Edmonton Trail
Description: Il Sogno is an upscale casual Italian restaurant located in the heart of the historic DeWaal Block in the community of Bridgeland just minutes away from downtown Calgary. For 14 years we have welcomed guests to come and experience our contemporary menu influenced by the flavors of Italy while enjoying richness of the Il Sogno dining room. Accented by pre-existing 14 feet pressed tin ceilings and original hardwood floors, this historical venue provides the perfect ambiance for a memorial dining experience. Lose yourself in both style and comfort while indulging in exquisite food and exceptional service.
Calgary, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
203 reviews
79 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Excellent, tasty food, good menu”
Reviewed October 31, 2013

We enjoyed a special meal at this lovely place. The menu is diverse and very tasty. A lovely place to enjoy. Good wine list

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank CalgaryWoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

70 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    31
    22
    10
    5
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Hamburg, Germany
Level 6 Contributor
110 reviews
73 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Amazing meal with top notch service”
Reviewed October 6, 2013

Finally got back to Il Sogno after our last visit. I thought making a reservation later on a Sat evening (8:30pm) it would be a little quieter, I was wrong. The restaurant was hopping. I think we got the only empty table.

Got seated right away and our server (Claudia) took our drinks orders when presenting the menu. Drinks were out fairly quickly and our orders taken quickly.

Can't say enough about the meal, from the salads to our main steak course to the recommended (carrot cake) dessert, just top notch.

To match the quality of the food, the service was impeccable. At one point, I had dropped my knife, before I could reach down and pick it up, another server was tableside retrieving it and Claudia our server had a replacement discreetly placed on the table.

Our table was kept immaculate during the course of the evening, plates and cutlery cleared w/o any interruption.

Definitely have to make this place a regular visit....too bad it's quite the drive from the SE.

The only downside, the latte, it was more like a coffee with very little cream than a latte. Not sure if it was a mistake, I did verify with the server that it was a latte but it really wasn't.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank rc51cgy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Excellent quality, one of my fav restaurants in the world”
Reviewed September 21, 2013

Il Sogno in Calgary is my absolute favourite restaurant. I've been going there for years, and I love the tasting menu. They change it up often, allowing me to try different and unique dishes every time I go there.
I often used this restaurant when I was having business meetings over a meal. Good wine selection, and excellent and creative cocktails easily at hand.

They usually serve local, organic, hand picked ingredients in creative ways. Often you'll see local meats and veggies created in an Italian gourmet style.
They cater to any dietary concerns.

Dean is my favourite server, he has a great sense of humour and is quite attentive to your needs. He builds excellent rapport with his customers and will remember your face, and often your name, even if you've only dined there once before.

I'm sad to say the last couple of times he was busy with a full restaurant I didn't get to banter as much, but I enjoyed a solo tasting menu at the bar instead.

I love the food and the presentation. I will continue to return to this place as long as it's standing :)

Thanks to Patricia, Dean, and the cute bartender who kept me entertained my last meal.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank CaptainKitty1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
calgary
Level 6 Contributor
140 reviews
93 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
“Excellent in Calgary”
Reviewed September 15, 2013

it has been a long time since we have been at a good restaurant in Calgary. We have now had that Experience at Il Sogno. First this establishment is not cheap. But there offerings make it worth the expense. Restaurant is in what appears to be restored build. Ceiling is very interesting. There are two rooms one with a bar, the other with an open kitchen at the end. We were in the open kitchen room. The tables are well spaced so you don't hear everyone else's conversation. Staff is very attentive. We were seated immediately. Offered water and menus immediately. The menu is not extensive and the selection is very unique from the standard Italian restaurant. In fact except for the fact that there is a pasta selection, that selection does not include spaghetti and meatballs, rather rabbit ravioli and an assortment of risottos. I thought I hated risotto until ll Sogno. We had a wonderful calamari appetizer made with fresh tomatoes and black olives which was to die for. The bean and prawn and shrimp soup was equally delightful and not heavy. We tried the pan fried pickerel served with root vegetables and the lamb shank served with an awesome risotto everything was astoundingly good. I had absolutely nothing about which to complain. We also had a bottle of pinot noir with the meal which just made everything that much more delightful. The desert menu was extensive and looked good but we passed. I enjoyed the service. Our waiter was very attentive and seemed interested in us and that we have a good time. Dishes were well spaced out and we never felt rushed. This was a wonderful and refreshing change of pace for the Calgary dining scene. I highly recommend this restaurant for that special occasion.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank popsicleCalgary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Prince George, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
387 reviews
254 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 260 helpful votes
“Prince Gastronome”
Reviewed September 1, 2013

My last review should’ve carried a “To Be Continued...” hook. While at Home Tasting Room, I inadvertently / intentionally let it slip that I was a foodie blogger reviewing the best restaurants in Calgary. One of the two chefs across the bar (which had previously engaged me in conversation about the telltale signs of good cafes in Florence) asked if Il Sogno was on my list.
I admitted it was not.
Said chef followed up by suggesting an amendment to my list, adding that I should ask for a specific waiter and tell him said chef had said to do so. A restaurant recommended by another chef in one of the best reviewed restaurants in Calgary? To quote Ash in Alien, “All other priorities were rescinded.”
It took me a few minutes to locate Il Sogno, nestled around small stores surrounded by other small stores. No malls, no big block retailers that I could see. Like any big city, parking was rationed to only a few stalls. The signs were initially hard to spot, but when I did, my hopes were immediately lifted. I felt I was about to walk into that Italian Restaurant in Big Night—an out of the way jewel which couldn’t be more valuable unless Kathleen Turner nestled it between her breasts. Comparing a restaurant to that masterpiece of a film Big Night has been done before, but here it may be more appropriate.
My entrance had a lot to be desired, unfortunately, as I had been without bathroom access for about four hours. I rushed in and diverted immediately to the facilities, stepping out moments later feeling like a deflated tire. I asked for the right person, dropped the right name, and was immediately directed to the right table, assumingly. I browsed through the menu until I locked phasers on the one option I always select if given the opportunity—a tasting menu, or in this case, the chef’s surprise menu. Four courses for $85, actually meaning six courses as it didn't count pallet cleansing mid-courses or the opening amuse bouche. For those that read my review of Home Tasting Room, you’ll remember I had previously enjoyed two glasses of wine this day, which would make it two glasses this decade.
Baby steps.
However, considering I was already spending close to a 100$ on food, I decided to opt out a third...that was until the waiter walked up and just poured a complimentary glass almost to the rim. Just like that. Ummm...alrighty then. Three glasses in as many hours, who am I, Hugh Heffner?
The decor of Il Sogno was simple, nothing terribly outlandish. Red upholstery swathing black chairs over a stained wood floor under brilliant chandeliers hanging from a patterned burgundy roof which loomed high above. The aged building is considered somewhat of a landmark at over a century old, with Il Sogno a recent arrival.
Even though the surprise menu is meant to be a...well...surprise, the eventual courses which arrived were mostly offerings off the main menu. After a lime and melon amuse bouche and the requisite bread plate, I was treated to the duck liver parfait, with caramelized shallot and caraway puree, watercress salad and pickled fennel. The parfait had a crispy sugar coating like a crème brulee. The salad was amazing. The second course was ricotta gnocchi with sautéed mushrooms, watercress, and truffle essence, and it was divine if not terribly under-proportioned. This was followed by the obligatory sherbet pallet cleanser before moving onto the beef tenderloin with pureed and sautéed vegetables. This was good albeit once again, under-proportioned. Finally, the dessert concluded with pannacotta with almond brittle, which although sounding simple, was one of the best deserts I’ve ever tried. By the end, the big question beckoning to be asked was if it was worth it?
Here is where things get complicated. Because at least two of the dishes were on the regular À la carte, I know their total cost to be at $27.90. That means the sherbet, main, and dessert have to add up to an impressive $52. Assuming the main was $32.95—which is honestly quite expensive for that dish, that leaves 20$ for desert and the pallet cleanser...and no, I'm not counting the wine. Tasting menus are generally supposed to be good values. Yes, you pay more, but with that is an additional level of effort, dishes you’d not normally get or value in the portions you do get. Six courses for the price of five, for example, but here, about the only thing I got over ordering À la carte was an unnecessary glass of wine, a sherbet pallet cleanser, and a spoonful amuse bouche. I could have saved about $20 by my guess.
Despite value under-performing, I can still say the experience was fulfilling. The service was admirable if a little stiff, the dishes I did get were all exemplary. In my initial live postings on Il Sogno, I complimented it as the White Goose of Calgary. In truth, although Il Sogno matches the PG bistro in quality of food and service, Il Sogno betters its competition with a spiffier interior while White Goose counters in a level of culinary passion rarely seen in modern restaurants. Il Sogno is a great place to visit, though my advice is stick to À la carte.

DECOR: 8.5
PLATING: 9.5
SERVICE: 8.5
FOOD: 9
VALUE: 6

OVERALL: 8.3 out of 10

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank PrinceGastronome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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