Cochrane restaurants get recognition

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New year, new foods to try?

Cochrane restaurants are gaining recognition for the yummy eats with traditional recipes from across the world, after receiving awards and top restaurant list placements last year.

Butter chicken and seafood alfredo are some of the dishes to try in 2017 after Mehtab East Indian cuisine received a Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor in 2016 and The Boot, opened last July, was named as one of the Best New Restaurants of 2016 by Calgary Herald food critic John Gilchrist.

“I wanted to stay away from big cities, I like more the small town,” explained chef Francesco.

The chef, along with his wife, moved from Milan, Italy when the couple came to Canada in 2013 with the hopes of opening a new restaurant using traditional recipes.

“We follow the traditional way for pasta – our spaghetti carbonara is strictly authentic, sometimes people complain but I just want to keep (the recipe) the same way,” Francesco said.

“It is really good, people are really happy about our pizza and pasta.”

The Italian owners offer a variety of 14 different pastas and more than 25 pizzas on the menu, with the chef saying one of his favourites is the No. 21 pizza, the Rustica – featuring cream, mozzarella, gorgonzola, Italian pancetta, honey and argula. He said the crowd favourites are the “seafood alfredo” and No. 9 pizza, the Salumi with tomato sauce, mozzarella, parma prosciutto, spicy soppressata, genoa salami, and Italian pancetta.

The review from Gilchrist, stated “outstanding pizza and pasta – just like they do in Milan – at a reasonable price. Not much for décor but great food here.”

When asked about the comment about décor, Francesco laughed it off, saying traditional Trattorie (casual Italian dining) do not focus much on décor but more on the simplicity.

“If you go into a trattoria, it is more simple, good food and affordable pricing and people don’t care much about décor,” Francesco said. “It is a good place for everyone.”

Mehtab owners Jag Thind and his wife, also stick to their traditions when it comes to cooking with a four-page takeout menu that includes cuisine favourite butter chicken.

“The first time when I saw the restaurant I knew it was the place I wanted to be,” Thind explained.

The Thinds took over the restaurant in 2011 and said they have made a lot of changes along the way – with the exception of the their family recipe.

“It is all of our family recipes that we are serving, even if we get a new chef in, it is the same,” Thind said.

“Thanks to all the people who voted for us, for the reviews, most good, some bad but that is how we learn – we are not perfect but we are always trying to improve ourselves and we can’t thank the people enough.”

The Boot is located at 13-205 First St. E.

Mehtab East Indian Cusine is located at unit 2008, 120, Fifth Ave.

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Cochrane Eagle