Thanks to Chef Daniel Costa, Edmontonians don’t have to leave the city, much less travel overseas, to enjoy authentic Italian cuisine. And this year, joining the popular Corso 32 and Bar Bricco, is Costa’s third Italian restaurant, Uccellino.
Costa’s love for cooking arose early in his life, alongside a strong appreciation for his Italian heritage. Costa says that centring his restaurants on Italian cuisine “keeps us focused on a very direct vision, and that really showcases our passion.” Patrons of his restaurants will see immediately that the staff at all three are nearly as enthusiastic about Italian culture and cuisine as he is himself. “They’re truly investing in something they believe in every time that they do it,” Costa says of his staff. “I think that when people come into our restaurants, they can really feel our love for what we do.”
Costa notes that though he doesn’t branch out much from Italian cuisine, he doesn’t feel limited thanks to Italy’s diverse regions. “Each region is kind of like its own little country,” Costa says. Drawing on this diversity, each of his restaurants focuses on different regions and styles. Uccellino spotlights the lighter, everyday fare of southern and central Italy, while Corso 32 features richer, artisanal food typically found in northern Italy. Costa has a soft spot for spuntini-style Bar Bricco, the more laid-back of his three establishments.
While his inspiration is international, Costa himself was born in Edmonton. Between running three businesses and spending time in the kitchens, he sources seasonal and prime ingredients from local farms. From there, he and his teams transform local produce into mouth-watering international dishes worthy of a true Italian eatery. —Danielle Mohr