The top spot in our Best Italian category goes, once again, to chef Daniel Costa’s Corso 32. Even if we wanted to change it up (purely for entertainment reasons), it likely won’t be happening any time soon.
Perhaps it’s because of how Corso 32 consistently honours its ingredients that the recognition repeats each year. This 34-seat Italian eatery takes the most humble of Italian dishes and elevates them to palate-pleasing standards that – if the wait list for a reservation is any indication – leave diners wanting more.
It’s the simplicity and the high standards that make the fare at Corso stand the test of time. With only a few ingredients, it creates favourites like the egg yolk gnudo, a pasta delight accented with salty Swiss chard, that just oozes a rich yolk flavour. It’s simply prepared, simply served (on a simple white plate) and simply delicious. –Cory Haller
10345 Jasper Ave., 780-421-4622, corso32.com
I don’t know if there’s a cuisine that we take more for granted than Italian food. We’ve been conditioned by jarred sauces and mass-produced pastas. So when you dig into pasta that’s finished as delicately as you get from the kitchen of Rosario Caputo at Cibo Bistro, you realize just how good the simple noodle can be. The tagliatelle with oxtail ragu I had on my last visit was excellent, and it represents what Cibo does best: Take traditional Italian food and bring it up several notches with some very refined adjustments. –Steven Sandor
11244 104 Ave., 780-757-2426, cibobistro.com
While you may not get heaping plates of spaghetti and meatballs at Bar Bricco, the three categories on the menu – spuntini, salumi, and formaggi – highlight and showcase classic Italian ingredients: wafer-thin prosciutto di Parma, rich Parmigiano cheese, olive oil, crisp grissini, an extensive wine list and more.
Many of the products are imported from Italy, and that authenticity shines on the plate. The house-made specialties are equally delectable, from the porchetta to the fonduta agnolotti dal plin. The dishes may be more refined than what your nonna used to make, but the atmosphere has all the warmth of an Italian family dinner. –Adrianna Szenthe
10347 Jasper Ave., 780-424-5588, barbricco.com