Restaurant Review: Corso 32

I've found that when most people travel, they reflect back on their adventures through landmark souvenirs, posed photo ops with the family and what hotels they stayed in.

For me, no matter the location, nothing brings me back to the place I visited, and awakens the nostalgic senses more than the the thoughts of my favorite foods. For every travel destination, it's my mission to find an insatiable love, the kind of love they write about in movies between two people, except in this instance, it's between food (aka noms) and I.. If  I'm lucky, it's a multi-dimensional love triangle with many dishes ;)

One city though, has always remained a culinary rogue to me, my hometown, Edmonton, Alberta Canada. It's bizarre that I come back to this place at least twice a year, to satisfy a need for snow and familiar comforts, but aside from a favorite cafe that closed down 10 years ago and ketchup chips, I've never emotionally tied myself to a particular restaurant.

Better said, until recently, I've yet to have a foodie love affair in this city I call home.

The time 10:35pm, The Place: Corso 32, The Company: 3 Guys and 1 Gal with an anchoring for a night of drinks, good eats, and equally fantastic conversation.  The minute I stepped into Corso 32  I was no longer in a -20C/-4F winter engulfed city.  This restaurant could have been in New York, Miami or the moon, because just the aroma coming from the visibly open kitchen and the wonderful ambiance, cut the cold and lured me into a hungered trance. 

The restaurant has roughly around 10-13 tables, which are booked sometimes weeks in advance.  One could almost say Corso 32 is becoming the Le Bernardin of Edmonton, a city mostly known for oil production, and a horde of chain restaurants.  I know there are quite a few culinary snobs that would burn me at the stake for making a comparison to that of the caliber of Eric Ripert's, but I'll make it and stand by it because I genuinely believe that Chef Daniel Costa (Corso 32 owner/head chef) is a remarkable chef that has his heart and head in the right place, when it comes to the art of  making honest food. 

What I love about this place: 
A one page menu, simple ingredients and the fact that "Corso32 makes all pasta by hand, cures all meats in house and promotes late night dining."

What we ordered:  Almost everything, but the favorite dishes included, the pork belly arancini, fontina, fried short rib bartlett pear salad, the "breakfast" << my favorite>>, beef carpaccio, yukon gold ravioli, aglianico braised pork over polenta and the chocolate torta.

I'd like to stress that I love street market food as much as five star dining, and I'm not about paying $300 for a plate of Arugula with sprigs of mint tossed in a Balsamic reduction, just for the sake of status and fancy plating.

I believe in good wholesome food and if you have the choice to eat anything, why not have it be something amazing! With that said, for the quality of ingredients and brilliant food that is crafted for you, Corso 32 is priced amazingly well.  Starters range from $10-15, Pastas around $17,  Meats from $22-26 and sides/desserts $7-12.  I've seen people pay double the price at a chain restaurant for sub par quality food.

My friend with us knew the owner well and I'm glad we got to chat with him over some Grappa, Prosecco and a 2006 Malbec from Argentina. It's always nice to hear an appreciation for all parts of the animal, when others may find goat's neck, pig stomach or any other innards bizarre. 

With travels, visitors, work projects and more, I'm still editing photos from New Years and back blogged about 30 different topics, but when I found love in Edmonton, I just had to share it with the world, and especially my readers.  That night, the scene of the four of us could have been pulled right from a movie, as good food always induces, grandeur gestures,  great conversations and endless laughs.

Some call me crazy, but if I find love, I'll travel to any lengths for it and just like how I fly to San Francisco for crab, L.A for a noodles, Seattle for oysters, or Vegas for Scallops, I'll be coming back to Edmonton soon for a night at Corso 32.

I walked in a skeptic and left full and inspired.  I love the food, I love the Chef's Vision and most of all I love his love and passion for food. 

To learn more about Corso 32 visit:
To view the menu click here:
To join me in following Chef Daniel's blog visit:

top image via Corso 32, the rest shot by me. 

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