Rea’s Italian Cucina – Fifty Shades of Rea’s

3.7/5 on the Foodie Foursome Index
4/5 on the Italian Scale
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Mike’s Review: 👨‍👩‍👦‍👦👨‍👩‍👧‍👦🍕🍝🇮🇹
Mrs. Rea will see you now… but no way in hell without a reservation… because this place is more popular than selfies on Instagram. Walking in all you could hear was the sound of clashing chains, I mean forks, and laughter, true to the Italian spirit. Most of which chowing down and partaking in the sublime bruschetta!
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After reading the reviews online, I knew I wanted to try the pizza… but honestly, it was nothing special. It was deliciously-standard, but I think next time I go (and there will be a next time) I will go with the pasta, which seems more artistic, flavourful, and traditional. At moments I felt like I was in “The Italian Job” with servers whizzing by and chatter at all the tables, and at other moments I felt like I was in “The Godfather” asking for a little bit more flavour on my pizza on this, the day of his daughters wedding. The real appeal to this place is the contrast between the inside and the outside, which is like stepping from Mr. Lube to little Italy in three steps

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I would say it is a great place for family gatherings and if you are looking for some good Italian, but I would not recommend it for first dates, intimate encounters, our breaking the news to your wife about your Ashley Madison account before your name is leaked.

Jenna’s Review: 🏢💸🐟🎉🐙
While walking to Rea’s, I really to savour the view along the way. That included the Firewood Guy’s shop sign that read “Nobody is perfect” across the street from the other shop sign that said “Selling gun licenses $155”. Really sends a message. However, when I walked into Rea’s I was pleasantly surprised to find a diamond in the rough.

The interior is quite quaint and homey feeling, particularly because there were pictures of the family all over the walls and the family all worked there too. Lots of family’s were there having dinner as well, there were a lot of families okay! The food was quite good, including the bruschetta which tasted fresh and homemade, just like my 50% Italian mother makes. The complimentary buns were warm when they came out and the Italian beer was on point. I ordered their signature seafood pasta in a white wine sauce and boy was it something. The seafood was so fresh, so fresh the mussels still had the sand in them, which to me is just “sand”-sational.
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Rea’s definitely caught my attention and “I’ll be back” – Terminator, but next time I think I would try a different dish. But one thing is for sure, despite the 50 shades, it is fun for the whole FAMILY! SO MANY FAMILIES!
 
Cam and Jody’s Experience/Review:
We chose Rea’s on Edmonton Trail because we had heard so many good things about this “hidden gem” through word of mouth and online. And when I say hidden gem, that is not an understatement – the restaurant is surrounded by industrial buildings, a hardware store, and places that have signs like this (with characters like that!):
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Hopes were high after I called to make the reservation and a REAL ITALIAN answered the phone. That’s how you know, right?

Ambiance
On the plus side, the space was intimate and dimly lit with old family photos on the wall. It was also packed for a Wednesday night with big, boisterous families which felt very appropriate. The walls were hand painted to resemble wood paneling which simultaneously felt both charming and a little tacky. We did not remark on the service in either a positive or negative fashion all night, which I guess makes it unremarkable. Grade: B+

Food & Drink
Cam’s linguini vongole was perfectly cooked with a delicious, subtle white wine sauce and diced clams. My meat lover’s pizza, while good, was underwhelming in the face of my expectations. My caesar salad was as excellent as you can expect a very typical caesar salad to be. Cam, Mike and Jenna all seemed to agree that the bruschetta was delicious, though I wish we had received some bread with olive oil and balsamic instead of packets of Saputo butter. My wine was very, very sweet and that’s how I like it (maybe I’m a little tacky?). Grade: A-
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Value 
Before the bill came, we all seemed to agree that there was good value to be had here. We did not have dessert, as we were stuffed to the brim with carbs, however the wine and the food and the post-meal cappuccinos seemed to add up pretty quickly. Cam pointed out that if the meal had been served in a more upscale setting we might view the value a little differently. Grade: B

Overall
Rea’s feels a bit like a nice pub, and when you look at it from that perspective I would recommend it as a good neighbourhood option for families or casual dining. Overall Grade: B+

As a bonus tip: you need a reservation unless you very much enjoy being turned away at the door.

Overall… it is a little Rea of sunshine…

 

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