Open daily at 9802 Jasper Avenue. Call 780-429-0701 for reservations.
Angel Hair Sergio/Rigolettos Cafe
Ryan Jesperson/Glenn Cook
When Avenue asked Top 40 Under 40 alumnus, former Breakfast Television and current 630 CHED host Ryan Jespersen to nominate his favourite dish in Edmonton, he mulled it over for quite a while. In the end, though, he couldn’t get away from the first dish that popped into his head: the Angel Hair Sergio at Rigoletto’s Cafe.
“From the moment I met [chef] Sergio Turlione, I was struck by his simple, casual, no frills, from-scratch approach to classic Italian cuisine. We’ve had some special nights at Rigoletto’s Cafe,” Jespersen says, referring to wife Kari Skelton, co-host of The Wake Up! Show on Up! 99.3.
The dish is comprised of a spicy blackened chicken breast served atop angel hair pasta, with roasted red peppers and a light sauce made with garlic and extra virgin olive oil.
“Rigoletto’s Cafe doesn’t see much time in the spotlight when it comes to Edmonton’s Italian restaurants — several of them are within a five-block radius — but the quality of the food there belongs on the short list,” Jespersen says. “It’s one of Edmonton’s best-kept downtown dining secrets.” >
“We were visiting Edmonton and staying in the building that has this restaurant on the ground floor. On our last day we decided to try it out of the convenience of not having to walk in the chilly weather. We were glad we did. First we had the bruschetta for an appetizer which was loaded with tasty seasoned diced tomato’s and onions. For the main course I had the penne with chicken and portabella mushrooms in a cream sauce and my wife had the rigatoni with italian sausage & red peppers. Both were nice sized portions and tasted great. I believe we had the same male waiter that has been mentioned in previous reviews who at first seems a little stiff but he warmed up very quickly and was actually very engaging with us wanting to know where we were from and our reason for visiting Edmonton. Highly recommend!”
“The meals were huge (at least by Australian standards). We ordered the bolognese, cabonara, lasagne and chicken penne … Kids were happy with their meals and even though we were the only family in the restaurant, we were made to feel welcome.”
The Steak of all Steaks/Rigoletto’s Cafe
Jason Fong, Undercover Gourmet
We have all had a good steak. Face it, the “I love Alberta Beef” rings true in all of us, but what sets apart a good steak from a great steak?
Ladies and gentlemen I give you the Bronzed Rib Eye Steak at Rigoletto’s Café. Rigoletto’s steps outside the norm by thinking outside the box, and stepping into a bigger box filled with flavour. There is no teriyaki sauce, sage butter, or garlic butter here my friends. Most places give you the same generic tastes governed slightly different from where the cow was born, raised, or fed. This is all cancelled out when the steak is rubbed down with Montreal steak spice and grilled to your liking. But wait, it gets even better! The marinated rib eye steak that is seared on the grill to your liking is coated with an amazing honey jalapeño butter sauce. The sauce is not overly spicy as the jalapeños are balanced by the honey to mellow the heat. While grilling, the sugars in the marinade caramelize into a sweet glaze enveloping the rib eye as the fat renders all around and crisps around the edges nicely. Add pan-fried potato gnocchi and tender crisp veggies and you have yourself a real steak dinner. The gnocchi, I would recommend an extra side order of to dip the sauce your steak leaves behind. As you cut into your first bite of steak it is tender to the touch. As this bite makes contact with your tongue the fat and sugars sizzle and melt into a delicious blend of happiness that evolves with every chew. As the tender bits of morsel pass, you are left with a bit of heat from the sauce which sets off the brain to repeat this process. When you awake from this temporary food stupor you realize the steak is gone, the vegetables are gone, and all that remain of your gnocchi are bits of parmesan cheese and chives.
If you must make a steak your last, make it this one. Pair it with the Italian Chianti and enjoy thoroughly.
“The recipes are like no other, very original and delicious. I’ve eaten here many times and have never been disappointed on any dish. Surprisingly for a simple dish like a Cajun chicken caesar salad, it is the best I have had from anywhere I’ve tried in Canada. After the sun goes down it is a very romantic place for a date. Candle light and soft lighting, great service. We have held 2 business Christmas parties here and let me tell you they decorate it sooo nice and go above and beyond. 5 stars!”