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A TEMPTING SELECTION Of the best restaurants in Jasper

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Villa Caruso: A Road Trip Respite

September 13, 2016
By: Naomi Witherick
Photography: Naomi Witherick

It had been a long day. My husband and I had left Banff at 8 am to drive to Jasper, stopping at the Icefields Parkway sights and Athabasca Glacier along the way.

Needless to say, by the time we reached Jasper we were exhausted and needing somewhere to unwind. And at the risk marital tensions rising further than they did on the drive, we chose the first restaurant we came across.

Jasper, dining, steakhouse

Find Villa Caruso on the corner or Connaught Drive and Hazel Avenue.

It was Villa Caruso: a centrally located steakhouse in a large stone building serving Canadian and European specialties.

Upstairs, we were seated by one of the large windows with views of Whistlers Mountain and surrounding peaks. Despite the dismal skies outside, the place was bright and airy.

It was early evening; the restaurant wasn’t busy yet and I was glad of the quiet atmosphere to take a breather after the drive.

Jasper, dining, steakhouse

We shared a mezze platter appetizer to start. The pita pieces were soft, warm and fresh and the trio of dips tasted incredible. There was a selection of tzatziki, a red pepper and a garlic-based dip. All were full of flavour and complimented each other so well we mopped up every drop with the pita bread.

While we waited for our mains we chatted, laughed and looked at photos from our stops along the road. I noticed other couples and families doing the same. The easygoing atmosphere made Villa Caruso a great place for visitors to gather themselves after a long day of sightseeing, it seemed.

Jasper, dining, steakhouse

We were on a budget so we both ordered pasta dishes, which were at the lower end of the not-so-budget menu.

I had penne pasta with mushroom, spinach and an add-on of shrimp. The portion was small, with just three pieces of shrimp. But the flavours were great. The sauce was rich and creamy, and the mushrooms had a pronounced taste.

Jasper, dining, steakhouse

Scott ordered tomato bocconcini tagliatelle. Though there didn’t seem to be any of the mozzarella bocconcini balls, leaving the sauce to taste similar to Bolognese. But he was happy with the flavour and with the crisp piece of garlic toast that was served on top.

While the portions were small the pasta sauces were so rich we felt full by the end of the meal. Satisfied and well rested, we left to explore Jasper.

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