Thursday, April 02, 2009
Out for Supper
Last night we went out for supper with K&K. I wanted Italian but since there are TONS of Italian restaurants in Calgary, I wanted to try something different, something less mainstream than the Olive Garden or East Side Marios. So we went to a place in Kensington called Niko's Bistro. Niko's Bistro is on Kensington Road, closer to 14th Street than to 10th. It's a tiny little space in a cute little row of shops. When we came in the door the owner met us and led us to our table--a place right at the front where we could see out the window. The restaurant was not super busy, but we were far from the only people eating there. The decor was nice and understated. Heavy curtains separated the main part of the restaurant from the entrance. The windows had funky stringy curtains in front for a little privacy. The walls were painted coffee-coloured muted tones and there was local art on the walls. The background music was contemporary folk/jazz/pop of the variety that we really like. So far so good. We got our menus and there was tons of interesting things to choose from, either pasta dishes or meat-oriented dishes to which a side of pasta, vegetables or ceasar salad could be added. The wine menu was extensive too, but K&K are not wine drinkers, so we thought we would not go for wine. I think that was our first mistake, not ordering wine. We got kind of a sneering look from our waitress as she took away our wine glasses. When K and B decided later to order drinks, she brought them AND THEN asked for their IDs. Brent hasn't been IDed....maybe ever? So strange. We had bruschetta and calamari as appetizers. The bruschetta was really good--we could have had a lot more of it, though the waitress thought one order would be enough. The calamari was...calamari. I've decided I'm not a huge fan. It was well-spiced but nothing to write home about (but maybe I'm just not a calamari connoisseur?). I had a heck of a time deciding what to order, so I asked the waitress what she thought. I didn't take any of her suggestions, which was perhaps my next mistake. I ended up ordering the chicken parmigiana with vegetables. Brent ordered another interesting kind of chicken with pasta on the side, and K&K ordered canneloni and spicy spaghetti. After taking our order, we didn't see the waitress again until she came to ask if we wanted dessert or the bill (!!). The owner of the restauraunt brought us our food, and no one ever came to see if we were happy with our food or we wanted more to drink (which we all did). Finally when I was the only one still eating, and the waitress came to see if we wanted dessert, I asked her for more water. It wasn't like the place was really busy or was really big so that she could have forgotten us, we were right there. But I guess we had offended her or broken some unspoken rule (like not ordering wine at an Italian restaurant??). At any rate, the food was quite good. But good enough to come again? I'm not sure. We had way more fun when we came back home and had tea and the dessert that K made and played a roaring game of Settlers. Relaxed and we could get up and refill our own drinks. So there you have it. Niko's Bistro on Kensington Road. Take it or leave it.