When we moved to Calgary in 2004, I was underwhelmed with the restaurant scene in Calgary. It all seemed vastly overpriced and not that good compared to Austin, the last city we called home. One shining exception was Rea’s (called Sandro’s at the time). Dewey had started going there years ago and knew I would like it. Walking in was like going to dinner at an Italian family’s home…complete with Mama in the kitchen!
Over the years, Rea’s has become our go to family birthday restaurant. They don’t blink an eye at kids and the food is fantastic. If a birthday rolls around and we DON’T go to Rea’s, everyone is disappointed.
Dewey turned 50 this week so I made reservations for Friday night. His brother came into town unexpectedly so it was a fun extended family dinner for the 6 of us. Rea’s gets busy so reservations is a MUST no matter what day you plan to visit.
Upon arrival, we asked for a plate of garlic and jalapenos to enjoy with our complimentary dinner rolls. They are spicy and delicious and everyone should eat them so the entire family will have garlic breath! Then we had a gander at the menu (though we almost always get the same things) and started contemplating whether to order pizza or pasta.
The Dom Special is on the menu every single time we visit (picture at the top of the post). While I always thought shrimp on pizza was weird, Rea’s changed my mind. The plump and delicious shrimp pieces make this pizza a slam dunk. So good. Dewey and Will shared a large. I was hopeful that there would be leftovers but I was disappointed.
I chose the Linguini alla Vongole with white wine sauce. It is my favorite pasta these days though I still love the Tortellini Zia Teresa.
Trevor decided to give one of my other favorites a try. The Linguini Tutto Mare is stuffed with seafood. So good and perfect if you are really hungry.
Nicole can’t have seafood so she got a small Italiano (?) pizza. It’s not on their online menu so I can’t remember the name. She said it was delish.
Evan got the kids cheese pizza which he loved. I didn’t take a pic of that one for whatever reason. Since it was Dewey’s birthday, we finished off with a piece of tiramisu. Their’s is so good.
The only negative to Rea’s is that it can be very busy and get very loud. I ordered a salad but I don’t think they heard me so we didn’t get it. We also didn’t get charged for it so not a huge deal. If you are a wine drinker, give their house wine a try. It’s a pretty good deal and they give generous pours.
Overall, Rea’s is one of the few restaurants that we go back to again and again. Definitely worth a visit!
431, 41 Ave NE, Calgary, Alberta