WHEN CALGARY’S BELOVED VON DER FELS CLOSED LAST SUMMER, most people found it hard to imagine any other restaurant moving into its cramped Victoria Park space. But Tony Migliarese, a friend of the VDF family and proprietor of the popular Pizza Face, jumped at the chance to take it on. Envisioning a contemporary version of the neighbourhood Italian joint his late father used to run, he quickly converted the tiny restaurant into an intimate trattoria. Chef Sandro Chinea worked with Migliarese’s mother to create a menu that’s reflective of family traditions. Since he’s working with a closet-sized kitchen, orders come out piecemeal rather than in orchestrated courses. The hefty bone-in veal parmigiana is a shareable showstopper. A giant egg-yolk and ricotta raviolo arrives, sauced in a white-wine and saffron-butter emulsion. The real genius, however, lies in the antipasti section of the menu, with hot and pillowy wedges of grilled bread best served alongside dishes of spicy spreadable ’nduja, whipped ricotta and the Migliarese family’s pickled green tomatoes. House wine options are solid, complemented by some finer bottles and premixed cocktails.
The neighbourhood trattoria of your dreams.”
Photography by: Dong Kim