My folks got us a Groupon for Christmas to Bona Roma, a small Italian eatery near Canada Olympic Park. Of course, I waited until a week before it expired to use it, but I’m sure glad we used it. The deal was for a shared appetizer or salad, 2 pastas or 2 pizzas (or 1 of each) and a shared dessert. You could choose 8″ or 10″ pizzas (of course we chose to get 10″ because leftover pizza is the bomb!).
We arrived around 6pm on a Friday – the small place has about 7 tables, and all were full except one. We were able to snag it and eat our dinner in the restaurant. We live about a 25 minute drive away, so I’m sure the food wouldn’t have been as good if we got take out to eat at home. Our server was super friendly – informative and just the right amount of attentive. The restaurant is small so she was very quick to bring us our drinks and refills when necessary. It was probably the best service we’ve had in a long time. Our server explained that everything is made in house and the food is all sourced locally – the meats are from Canmore and the cheese is from Springbank Cheese.
At our servers suggestion we chose the Melinzano Salata ($8.95) to start. It’s a dip made of roasted eggplant, ground almond & lots of garlic. OMG. Totally delicious! Don’t let the ingredients (eggplant and nuts!?) scare you away. The dip was served with a pile of homemade pita. I had to ask if the pita was homemade because it was so perfectly shaped and cooked. We totally recommend this appy… but don’t fill up on all the bread or you won’t have room for your entrees. If you’re in a group of 3 or 4 the Melinzano would be a great starter because there’s just so much of it.
We should have tried both a pizza and a pasta for some variety (some of the pastas sounded so good), but we went for 2 pizzas – the Greco (Greek) with green peppers, red onions, black olives, basil, mozzarella and feta, topped with fresh Roma tomatoes; and the Mexican with beef and crushed chillies and mozzarella, finished with sour cream, shaved lettuce and diced tomatoes. Both were great! Their crust is really good, and it’s made fresh daily. It’s a dense crust – it reminded me of pretzel dough – chewy, but not tough. It wasn’t at all greasy and instead of leaving the crust on my plate I ate it all, and could have eaten Jay’s if I had the room in my belly!
We were so full – we brought home much of the Melinzano, along with half the pizza. We also had to bring home the tiramisu… it’s been a long time since we’ve brought home that many leftovers from anywhere!
The Groupon deal was great value for the amount of food and the quality of food we got. Although the restaurant is quite a ways away from us, we will definitely be back. The service was excellent, the pizza was the best I’ve had in a while, and everything was made fresh with local ingredients. I would consider this a little neighbourhood gem that’s worth a bit of a drive.