That could be the saving mantra for many restaurateurs thinking of owning their own restaurants. Don’t think big, think small: small space, small menu, small bites.
Daniel Costa, one of the most recognized people on the Edmonton food scene, opened tiny Corso 32 in 2011 to rave reviews, garnering a spot in EnRoute’s Top 10 Restaurants in Canada with his 30 (+/-) seat restaurant. Fast forward three years and the Twitter chatter and online reviews prove that Costa has kept up his standards of serving legit Italian, home-made fare by using quality ingredients and authentic Italian methods of food cookery.
But this isn’t about Corso 32, this is about Bar Bricco, Costa’s new Italian wine and spuntini bar that opened up a couple of months ago, right next door.
Again, the space is small – even smaller than Corso 32 with only three tables to sit at and space for 12 to 15 at the gorgeous, long wooden bar. The black on black accentuated room is intimately seductive made so by octagonal tile that curves from ceiling to walls, hanging black pendant lights and a beautifully grained bar with metal stools. The decor is not only beautiful but functional (even edible) with grissini (bread sticks) sprouting from glass vases like avant-garde flower arrangements, and glass-encased hunks of meat posing like subjects for a still life painting. Open shelves display tableware alongside bottles of amaro and grappa. A spectacular wall mural incorporates scenes from famous Italian paintings. Even the shiny, metal meat slicer captures the diner’s attention as a thing of beauty.
The one page menu features a trio of bread offerings, a dozen spuntini (snacks), a smart selection of salumi (cured meats) and formaggi (cheese), and a half-dozen condimenti (condiments).
The plates are not typically entree-sized as one might expect in other restaurants, and even though you should share everything, you don’t have to—in fact, you might not want to. As a solo eater, you can walk away completely satisfied for under $35 (without wine or cocktail) say, by ordering, fettunta (garlic bread) $4, carne cruda (steak tartare) $16, and a half order of a cheese tasting plate $15 (+/-). The wonderful thing about Italian food though is sharing it between friends, so go and share. Share lots.
What we ordered:
A word on the servers at Bar Bricco: some of the best in the city. Like Corso 32 staff, the Bar Bricco team exudes confidence that can only come with complete knowledge and genuine passion for the food they serve.
For details on taste, presentation and why I think Daniel Costa has hit another home run with Bar Bricco, click on my CBC Edmonton AM review here.
Curious what I thought about Corso 32 back in 2011? Click here.