I love visiting Calgary because there are so many great options for a wonderful meal.
It’s a bonus when the Calgarians I visit share the same love of food as me, and want to show off the city’s best!
On my last trip there, my friend Jessie introduced me to Bonterra Trattoria, an incredible, contemporary Italian restaurant in downtown Calgary (at 1016 8 Street SW).
That night, we dined with Bonterra’s marketing manager Janine, and put the meal completely in the hands of Chef Ben Mills.
That’s one of the beauties of Bonterra – you can request a family style, chef’s choice dinner, where each dish is a delightful and delicious surprise (and they just keep coming!)
In fact, Chef Ben Mills encourages guests to call a couple days in advance, tell him how much money you’d like to spend per person, and he will create a custom menu just for you!
It’s a truly special experience, and one that I remember fondly (and recommend absolutely).
Check out some of the dishes (foodporn!) we tried during our meal at Bonterra below (not my best photography work – the food is fantastic but the dining room lighting is definitely not food-photo-ideal lol).
Chef gave us sword fish, lanza pork, prosciutto, veil carpaccio, Humboldt squid, linguine carbonara, beef short rib arancini, halibut and ricotta gnocchi, pork shoulder, and a selection of desserts including candied pretzels, almond shortbread, chocolate truffles and more!
The lanza pork, linguine carbonara, and pork were my favourites but they were all so good.
The food also comes on the cutest, vintage plates.
Along with great food, Bonterra also has a lovely ambience/atmosphere.
I kept saying how it would make a lovely wedding reception spot and it turns out they actually do rent out the space for just that (and other special occasions) for that very reason.
Our server even had her wedding reception there!
Bonterra has a great patio too, which was unfortunately closed that night we went because it was fairly cloudy/chilly (great reason to get back there soon though!)
I always love chef’s choice options and this one at Bonterra was one of the best experiences I’ve had.
If you’re not interested in sampling a variety of their dishes family style, Bonterra has a great regular menu too.
There’s a great selection on Bonterra’s regular menu, including confit lamb arancini balls, veal polpette meatballs, clams, calamari, risotto, pappardelle, ravioli and more! Some of the items we had on our special menu are also available a la carte on the regular menu.
I think the price points for their regular menu items are reasonable as well, with the priciest entree costing $36, but the pastas ranging from $17-$24 and appetizers in the $12 to $18 range.
It’s especially reasonable considering the restaurant has a more upscale, fancier feeling to it, but not necessarily the high cost.
Bonterra is high on my list of some of the best restaurants in Calgary!
Thanks to Jessie and Janine for treating me to such a wonderful meal.
Be sure to check out Bonterra on your next trip!
Disclaimer: I will always provide my 100% honest opinion on this blog. I visited Bonterra as a guest of the restaurant group’s marketing team (so the meal was complimentary). This has no impact on opinions stated in this post (I’m always honest!)