I’m pretty sure Da Capo has been on my regular schedule from the time I moved back to Edmonton. Offering a serious cup of coffee, they once found themselves alone at the top of 109st. However, with Transcend Garneau opening next door back in April, and a whole slew of coffee spots just a skip away on Whyte Ave, Sarah and I made it a point this year to sit back and really take in the the service and quality. A perfect blogging opportunity appeared when we found ourselves starving after last Sunday’s CIBC Run For The Cure.
I may hang myself here, but I have to start by saying Da Capo has always seemed like a strange beast; even down to the name. Is it just Da Capo like so many people say, or Da Capo Caffé, or Da Capo Lifestyle Caffé. So many choices! Before the nearby competition, Sarah and I often found the attitude to be quite poor. The clientele seemed to consist heavily of Porsche and Jaguar driving citizens who were intermingled with those decked to the nines in bike gear. There could easily be more skin tight clothes during the day here than at some local bars. From the location, to the clientele, to the staff, it always seemed that when you ordered a coffee at Da Capo, you LIKED it! No ifs, ands, or buts.
With our first coffee order placed, doppio espresso for me and americano for Sarah, we sat back in the booth and pondered lunch. Deciding to split things, we settle on a Parmigiano Salad to start and Di Amanda (I believe) for our pizza. The salad was split onto two plates (what a great concept when sharing), and looked great. The delicate greens were dressed just right, but I found they were overpowered by the parmigiano. The large chunks of cheese were obvious, and unless I snagged a piece of tomato to cut through the cheese profile, I found the greens weren’t able to compete.
The white pizza was topped with artichoke hearts, prosciutto, mozzarella, and sprinkled with fresh cracked pepper and finished with truffle oil. It arrived in a classic distorted handmade shape and smelled fantastic. The bottom of the pizza wasn’t spotted with the infamous leopard spots one might expect from a thin-crust style pizza, but this might have to do with the thin layer of flour still evident on the bottom. The outside edges cracked like peanut brittle when I folded my first slice to eat, with the pizza getting wetter as it inched towards the middle. The toppings were balanced just right, with the freshly cracked pepper and truffle oil taking this average pie to a new level. This pizza..was damn good.
While the salad didn’t speak to me like the pizza did, I have to say this post run meal hit the spot. As Sarah and I sipped on our second round of drinks, we sat back in one of the most pleasant and welcoming atmospheres every felt at Da Capo. Instead of rather barren faces and a cold shoulder coffee house atmosphere, we were wrapped up and engaged by all members of the staff. As we’ve always come for the coffee, I think it’s fair to say that Da Capo has stepped up its game this year and I know we can now come for the service as well.