A little over a year old, Uccellino is Daniel Costa's third restaurant in his ever-growing empire on Jasper Avenue. With the way people flock to his restaurants, he might own the entire block soon enough.

Following in the same vein as Corso 32 and Bar Bricco, Uccellino is Italian to it core. With Corso 32 requiring reservations weeks to months in advance and Bar Bricco accepting none, Uccellino is like the happy medium of the two. Reservations are available for half the restaurant while the other half, including a standup bar, is open for walk-ins and spur of the moment dinner plans. Self-described as a modern trattoria, you could also say that Uccellino serves "Corso-style" food in a more casual "Bricco" atmosphere.

To celebrate KN's birthday, SC, AL, and I secured a reservation a couple weeks in advance. It was a smart move since the restaurant was full and bustling. Not surprising considering it was a Friday evening, but if you were to take the chance as a walk-in, you may be waiting a little while before getting in.

Uccellino's menu was introduced to us by the server as following a natural progression, with food intended to be shared family-style. Start at the top with Fritti (fried finger foods), Crostini (toast with toppings), and/or Antipasti (appetizers), followed by Primi (pastas) and Secondi (meat and vegetables), and finished off with Formaggi (cheese) and Dolci (dessert).

We started off with the polpette di pane (8 pieces for $11.00), fritters stuffed with pecorino and fennel salami. Crispy little bites with a thin crust and creamy, soft inside. The lemon was a nice acidic touch to cut the richness.

The maccheroni ($26.00) was a daily pasta special with San Marzano tomato sugo, sausage, ricotta cheese, and mint. There was a slight bit of heat in the pasta, which we attributed to the sausage. It wasn't exactly our favourite dish though, as the flavour from the mint really threw us all off.

Next up, we ordered the ricotta gnocchi ($27.00), dressed with L'Ancetre butter, sage, and parmigiano reggiano. SC was initially worried about ordering the gnocchi since it has a reputation of being doughy or starchy if prepared incorrectly. Any fears of it being too heavy were quickly alleviated when we took our first bites. The gnocchi were soft and pillowy, no doubt thanks to the ricotta.

For our main entree, we decided on the pollo al mattone (half $36.00), chicken cooked under a brick with salmoriglio and a side of panzanella salad (pictured at the start). It took quite a while for the dish to come out that even our server admitted it was taking longer than usual. Once she checked with the kitchen, we got our chicken a few minutes later.

Searing the chicken under a brick rendered the skin nice and crispy while the meat remained quite juicy. The salmoriglio was described to us as an Italian condiment made with lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano, and parsley. It was definitely herbaceous but I felt it wasn't zesty or bright enough to make the plain chicken stand out. The panzanella was great though. Bright pops from the tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, and Tuscan bread. 

To be honest, I don't think we ordered enough food (or maybe the right food) to scratch the surface of what Uccellino offers since we walked away feeling a bit unsatisfied and not blown away like all the reviews say. Perhaps it was the wait for the food or having to raise our voices to carry a conversation, but we thought the experience had potential to be better.

10349 Jasper Ave
Edmonton, AB
(780) 426-0346
Uccellino Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

- CT


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CT is a 20-something Edmontonian who started blogging as an excuse for taking pictures of her food.

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." - Virginia Woolf