Address: 670 Corydon Ave
Nothing holds a candle to the basic comfort of a red sauce joint: those classic paragons of Italian cooking which actively encourage eating your weight in veal parmigiana. Of these precious old-school gems that remain in Winnipeg, Colosseo Ristorante reigns supreme.
A staple of Corydon Avenue’s Little Italy since 1973, Colosseo still has its flags flying proudly. A replica of the Fontana di Trevi guards over the door, which opens to reveal wall sconces flickering over bas-relief Roman emperors and murals of the Italian countryside. There remains something unbeatably romantic about hearing the words “house red” and the crooning of Frank Sinatra while swirling a fork through spaghetti.
What graces the plate is, of course, the main attraction. Meaty packages of eggplant rollotini, smothered in pomodoro, hold delicate clouds of ricotta. Pizzas arrive with pomp on silver pedestals, thin crusts giving way to a gooey mess of cheese.
Tender tubes of canneloni and pillowy gnocchi made in house give the feeling that Nonna is working behind the swinging kitchen doors. Other pastas sing with fresh seafood, like a tangle of linguine with mussels, baby clams, shrimp and squid, tossed in tomato sauce that tastes long-simmered but finishes with bright acidity.
A trip to Colosseo is a reminder of what Italian food has been showing us for decades: a full stomach and an empty glass of vino? That’s amore.