Neighbourhood: Linden Woods
Address: 1-877 Waverley St
Sitting in the Linden Woods suburb is an Italian eatery that has become a Winnipeg institution over the past 19 years.
Co-owners Greg Anania and Greg Gagliardi opened Bellissimo in order to bring fine Italian dining beyond downtown and Little Italy while retaining both sleek sophistication and authentic charm.
The menu seamlessly blends Italian tradition with contemporary flourishes, from veal scaloppini to lobster mac and cheese, with enough variety to please all palates. Gourmet pizzas and house-made desserts round out the selection.
To prepare for the main course, lighter fare is needed and the tavola burattini fits the bill. Scoop the diced tomatoes – seasoned with basil and fresh herbs, extra virgin olive oil, and balsamic vinegar – onto grilled bread alongside a piece of buttery soft fior di latte cheese.
Robust mains include Aragosta, a seafood dish consisting of tender lobster, plump prawns, butter basted jumbo scallops, and smoky bacon sitting atop a bed of creamy, wine-sauced pasta. Agnello, a lamb shank slow roasted until juicy and fall off the bone tender, is draped over a mushroom and vegetable ragu piled with fluffy soft handmade gnocchi. For vegetarian diners, the Agnolotti is a satisfying option that doesn’t sacrifice depth of flavour. Handmade spinach pasta enrobes a sweet mascarpone and spiced squash filling, that is basted with sage and brown butter sauce. A topping of herbed ricotta adds a light touch to the dish.
Decisions don’t get easier when the dessert menu arrives, so why not have two?
Tiramisu, the classic Italian after-dinner treat, here consists of rum and coffee soaked sponge cake layered between sweet mascarpone cheese and shaved chocolate, surrounded by lady fingers dipped into melted chocolate.
For those seeking decadence, try the velvety crème brûlée. One tap of a spoon is sure to bring a satisfying crack and a smile.