PiccoLino Bistro – Restaurant Review

Hi everyone,

This review is a little overdue but I’ve been struggling with whether or not to write it. Sadly this is my first negative review.

(Since this was a few weeks ago I’ll try to give an idea of the prices of the dishes but I don’t remember exactly how much they were, sorry.)

My family and I went to PiccoLino Bistro for a family dinner a few weeks ago. I called ahead and made a reservation as there was to be 6 of us. One of our guests couldn’t make it the day of so upon arrival we informed them that we would only have 5 people. They asked our name for the reservation and replied “Karen?” I said no Kyra, they seemed confused but sat us anyways. A few minutes later someone was at our table telling us we had to move as we were at the wrong table. They sat us (now 5) at a 4 person table and stuck one of us on the end in the aisle/walkway. We all were a little surprised since we had made a reservation for 6, if all of our party had been there where would we have been seated? We tried to brush it off as we were determined to have a good time eating and visiting. Our waitress arrived and took our drink order and rattled off the specials so quickly we weren’t sure where one dish ended and the other started. I think that showed on our faces as she then pointed to a wall behind a booth and told us they were listed there. When our drinks came we ordered our mains and an appetizer to share.
The appetizer we ordered was the Antipasto Misto. It was delivered to our table along with some complimentary bread and a plate with oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping. The Antipasto Misto was a really sad display and very disappointing. Not a good way to start a meal. It was literally 2 pieces of salami, 2 pieces of mortadella, 2 pieces of provolone and 1 piece of prosciutto with a few pickled veggies. This was priced at about $14 or $15.



For my main I ordered the ravioli from the specials board since it sounded delightful. It was fig, prosciutto and marscapone filled ravioli in a cream sauce. I asked the waitress if it had tomatoes and she said it didn’t but made note that I had an allergy. When everyone else’s meals arrived she told me mine would be a few more minutes cause they had topped it with tomatoes. When it did come out it was flooded with cream sauce! The ravioli was bland. I searched in vain for some indication of what was promised for the filling but came up with just a white glue between the pasta. I was very disappointed. I didn’t finish my meal and when the waitress came at the end I did ask for it to be packed up (didn’t end up eating the leftovers). I asked her if the ravioli were house made and she said no they weren’t and asked if I hadn’t liked it. I said no I didn’t. Her response to that was that this dish is usually a favorite. I said sorry I just didn’t think it had much flavor. When my takeout container was brought back to the table I opened it to make sure it was mine and found that it looked like the pasta had been tossed in without any care, in fact there was even sauce on the lid side of the container (no one else’s leftovers looked quite as disheveled). I guess I had insulted the waitress with my honesty. I also noted that there was a piece of tomato in there, makes me wonder if they hadn’t in fact remade the dish when they put tomatoes on it but perhaps just scraped them off.


The other dishes that were ordered around our table were the fettuccini Alfredo, pesto Alfredo, tortellini alla panna (veal filled in a white cream sauce) and stuffed chicken with a peppercorn demiglace (stuffed with prosciutto, provolone and spinach).
My family generously let me taste all of their dishes (for research obviously lol).

(pesto alfredo)
The pesto Alfredo was not too bad. Had a decent amount of flavor from the pesto in the sauce. I don’t believe this was made in house. My guess is it was their standard white sauce which was used in all the other dishes and they added a few spoons of tasty pesto to it.

(fettuccine alferdo with added mushrooms)
My aunt ordered this dish and she likes pepper. I mean she really, really likes pepper! So when the waitress asked if anyone wanted fresh cracked pepper her hand shot up. The waitress probably didn’t need to go to the gym that night after spinning that pepper mill for my aunt 😉 In my opinion this dish was a little bland. The pepper added some flavor to it as did the added mushrooms but other than that it was just pasta and white sauce.

(stuffed chicken)
This was what Ward ordered and cudos to him for the best pick of the night. The chicken was flavorful and still relatively moist. He chose pasta with tomato sauce as his side which was ok too but nothing to get too excited about.

The tortellini did offer more flavor than the ravioli. The meat inside was moist but I did think it had too much sauce again.
All of the dishes were in the high teens for pricing, I remember them being around $17-19. I think Ward’s dish was around the $21-22 mark.

Looking at their menu online again (no pricing shown) it indicates that they do have a few pasta offerings that are home made. Apparently the fettuccini is homemade but based on what I tasted I’m not convinced that’s true.

Though I was thoroughly disappointed and was ready to go Ward wanted desert so he ordered the caramel apple cheese cake. I don’t think this is made in house either 😦


Admittedly I had high expectations since I had heard good things about them but considering they market themselves as a authentic Italian restaurant they missed that mark by a long shot! I’d like to think that this could have just been an off night for my ordering skills but sadly there were too many things that disappointed me for me to offer PiccoLinos any second chance. This is the type of quality I would expect from a chain restaurant that’s just pumping out dishes from a rookie cook. I don’t believe I will be going back.

Hopefully I can find another Italian restaurant in Edmonton that truly delivers an Italian meal.

Thanks and until next time, enjoy your adventures!

Piccolino Bistro on Urbanspoon


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