Sunday, April 14, 2013

UNA Pizza and Wine

I finally got to try UNA Pizza and Wine for the very first time (after hearing many good things about it) on Saturday night. We arrived at 8pm, a time that I initially thought would've been close to the end of the long wait that UNA is known for having, due to its popularity. We were told that for our party of 3 there would be about an hour wait, so we left our name and number and went to a nearby pub for a drink, while waiting for their call that would notify us when our table was ready. Sure enough, we received a call at 8:50pm and headed back.

Having sat down and settled at our table, I took a scan of the restaurant. UNA was lively and energetic with a low light setting, creating an atmosphere suitable for all things between a first date to a casual and comfortable outing with a small group of friends.

Right off the bat, my friend who has been to UNA before gave us the water spiel where both sparking and distilled water would be charged onto our tab. Admittedly, I was surprised that we would have to pay for distilled water, as this is something that has never happened to me in a Calgary restaurant before. We ended up ordering both sparkling and distilled water, as well as 500ml of the white housewine Les Jamelles (Sauvignon Blanc, Languedoc, France - 2008) that was to be shared between myself and one other friend. The housewine was decent, but I found the aftertaste to be quite strong. Though to be fair, I am not much of a drinker and I have yet to acquire the taste of wine (slowly.. but surely). My friend on the other hand seemed to have enjoyed it much more than I did.

To start off, we ordered the braised veal + pork meatballs, san marzano tomato sauce, grana padano. This dish came with five slices of cut up soft bread on the side, which was much needed for the tomato sauce that I could not get enough of. The tomato sauce was served at a perfect consistency as it was not too thick of a paste nor too watery. It was sweet (in a good way) but did not come off as an artificial over the top kind of sweet. This tomato sauce complimented the veal and pork meatballs very well. The meatballs were soft and very "meaty", something I would recommend to anyone who wants a quick meat fix in a bite. The Italian cheese that was found melted on top of the meatballs was not overpowering and probably was the easiest taste to miss out on in comparison to the meatballs and tomato sauce. For once, I was fine with the cheese not being served in abundance. This dish was winner, and something that I would definitely order again.

For our mains, we decided to share two pizzas: on top is the tiki (double smoked bacon, shaved pineapple, san marzano tomato sauce, smoked mozzarella, jalapeno oil) and the bottom the mushroom (roasted cremini mushrooms, smoked mozzarella + grana padano cheese, fresh arugula, truffle oil)

For the tiki, it tasted like a regular Hawaiian pizza to me. I couldn't taste the bacon, and the jalapeno oil was only slightly hinted at. I would have preferred a more emphasized taste for the jalapeno oil as I love my spicy food to be legit spicy. I probably would avoid ordering the tiki next time.

The mushroom pizza on the other hand won me over with what seemed like an endless amount of mushroom and arugula toppings, and of course my beloved truffle oil. I mean, what's not to like? The combination of my many favourites found in one pizza did it for me. I will have to order this again on my next visit.

The one thing I didn't like too much about the pizza was that the crust seemed to have taken up "potential topping space" for some slices. On those few unfortunate slices where the crust was deemed too much for me, I gave up on trying to finish it. But perhaps that is just me being picky.

Unfortunately, we were too full at this point to even attempt to order dessert. However, the chocolate terraine did catch my eye, and has now landed on my "to eat" list. Next time, UNA, next time.

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