Sorrentino’s South is one of those restaurants I rarely visit. I blame it on the carb loading dishes so commonly found in Italian cuisine. Which, just like a breakfast buffet, usually put more calories in the tank than needed on any given day. I’m no Michael Phelps! On top of that, a midday smorg of pasta and cream sauce might not do anything positive for the productivity in the afternoon. However, in the last few months I’ve found myself walking through the doors on this south side location more times than in the last 10 years combined.
Starting off as Sorrento in 1979 in the Castle Downs area of Edmonton, Alberta now sees the Sorrentino’s Restaurant Group streching across the province; operating 7 Sorrentino’s as well as That’s Aroma! A Garlic Restaurant & Bar, Oliveto Trattoria, Caffè Sorrentino, JOX Sports Bar & Grill, and O’Maille’s Irish Pub. They’ve also started franchising their newest venture Caffè Sorrentino. Busy as can be every time I’ve visited, Sorrentino’s South provides a nice escape from the busy streets that run all around the area.
After being seated in the rich interior, you’ll be treated to warm bread and chili infused olive oil for dipping. The warm bread and accompanying oil is a welcome change from the standard bread basket and I’ve yet to see anyone disappointed. I’ve had more than a few items in the last few weeks, but what really brings my back (I’ve ordered it 3 times now) is a dish from the summer menu; Pear and Arugala Salad – Spiced wine-poached pear, shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, arugula, basil, avocado dressing and thinly sliced cured halibut. I just can’t get over the flavour combination of perfectly cured halibut with the spicy arugula and poached pear. A brilliant salad indeed and one that I’ll be sad to see go. I should say that I do ask for the dressing on the side now, as I’ve found it a touch heavy when ordered normally.
Other items I’ve sampled from the menu include another summer selection, Pistachio Encrusted Wild Halibut – Roasted cauliflower purée, sautéed spinach, fava beans and curry cardamom coconut sauce. Along with regular menu items like Baked Veal Meatballs – tomato sauce and mozzarella, Gameri Sorrentino – Sautéed prawns, spicy garlic butter sauce, crostini, Salmone – grilled salmon with salsa rossa, capers and balsamic reduction (sorry no picture), and Mamma’s Lasagna – layers of homemade pasta, meat sauce, béchamel sauce and mozzarella. The one thing that’s surprised me is that the even though their pasta portions are big, they are not over the top. And I’ve yet to have a piece of fish that isn’t cooked to perfection; finding a restuarant that doesn’t overcook their fish is more than enough reason in my books to come back.
The service has always been friendly, the food has always been good, and the location is prime. So until I get my new found appreciation of cured halibut fix taken care of at home, you might just find me spending my lunch hours eating every inch out of this summer menu while it lasts…