Calgary - DINING & NIGHTLIFE
July 12th, 2011
Back with a vengeance from Vancouver’s recently closed db Bistro Moderne, and before that, Lumière, Austen Neil is the new head chef at Lit on 104th Street.
Revamping the menu in West Coast style, expect share plates big and small, a focus on simple, seasonal ingredients and perfect wine pairings to excite the swanky female crowd who flock there.
Prized picks are the watermelon feta salad (a summertime blessing), lemon dill aioli calamari, and savory mushroom parmigiano flatbread. Throw in a salami garnished caesar, some cinnamon steeped sangria, and a few sexy, sultry singers on the weekends, and you’ve got a GNO worth the gossip.
And that’s what chick Lit is all about. —Caroline Gault
Lit Wine Bar, 10132-104 St., Edmonton, 780-757-6688, www.litwinebar.com
July 8th, 2011
Bring out your inner Annette Funicello and plan your own beach blanket bingo party with the world’s cutest picnic grill, Fyrkat Picnic by Bodum.
With its classic red and black colour combo, slick enamel-coated round body, shiny chrome legs, and a heat-resistant silicon handle, this compact little guy is the quintessential beach accessory. It almost sounds like we’re talking handbags!
We’ll even throw on a few veggies on the barbie. —Anya Georgijevic
$69.99 at Homewerx, www.homewerx.ca
June 24th, 2011
A venue Ménage à trois is creating quite the sausage party in Calgary’s Mission district.
Wurst is one-third restaurant (on the top floor), one-third bier hall (on the lower level) and one-third biergarten (on its impending patio) and, when added up, all parts equal one Bavarian tri-fecta. The openness of the restaurant permits trees to stretch angelically to the ceiling and this magnificent space will no doubt cause patrons to invent occasions just to host a private function. Navigating the menu, you will see everything from Venison Merguez Corndogs for $14 to Jäger Schnitzel for $21.
Beer and brats—what's the Wurst that could happen? —Kristin Hursh
Wurst Restaurant, 2437 4th St. SW., Calgary, 403-254-2345, www.wurst.ca
June 20th, 2011
Put down that chardonnay and tap into this boozy scoop.
Gone are the days of beer bellies and six packs–craft brews have never been sexier, and the newly opened Craft Beer Market Restaurant & Bar is sure to be a lively Stampede watering hole. Upon arrival, don’t be alarmed by the 100 levers—they aren't slot machines, but rather taps that lead into the largest beer selection in Canada. Jackpot!
With a menu of classic North American dishes and ales for every taste, from Grizzly Paw Grumpy Honey Wheat Ale to Amber’s Sap Vampire Maple Lager, you're bound to find a brew to quench your thirst. —Kirstin Hursh
Craft Beer Market Restaurant & Bar, 345 10th Ave. SW, Calgary, 403-514-2337, www.craftbeermarket.ca
June 15th, 2011
Let’s face it: Calgary’s downtown core is better known for harvesting tumble weeds than action on the weekends.
But that' s changing as the Wild West’s tumble weeds have been replaced with West Restaurant and Bar’s new rooftop patio. Live it up and get down! This 1,500-square-foot patio has unleashed an evening energy that is unlike anything downtown Calgary has seen before, be it lunch, dinner or beyond. West’s patio has opened just in time for Stampede and provides enough room to line dance, two step and shimmy. The bylaw officer who approved the sound levels for the music is one groovy fellah.
Hats off. —Kristin Hursh
West Restaurant & Bar, 225 Seventh Ave. SW, Calgary, 403-237-5556, www.westrestaurantandbar.com
June 3rd, 2011
Want to get creative for your next meatless potluck pick? Quick, think of something raw that isn’t called salad.
If you’re stuck for uncooked ideas, head to Sunday’s Hawaiian Luau-themed Awesome Rawsome Lifestyle meet-up.
Hosted by the Calgary Raw Vegan Network the monthly potlucks bring together raw-food lovers and those curious about the culinary lifestyle for an evening of eating, socializing and learning what that raw-food rage is all about.
And not to worry, another salad is just fine to bring. —MG
June 5, 5 p.m.-7 p.m. at Woodcliff United Church, 5010 Spruce Dr. SW, Calgary, $5 per person plus one raw vegan dish for at least 18 people, www.awesomerawsome.com
May 20th, 2011
Forget cupcakes, crepes and cream puffs; these days, doughnuts are on everyone’s lips.
Thanks to Jelly Modern Doughnuts, the new "It" dessert has gone gourmet. Choose from hand dipped (think Valrhona chocoate and classic honey-dipped), hand-filled (raised doughnuts filled with lemon curd or coconut crème, for example) or cake donuts (pictured, the carrot cake doughnut topped with cinnamon marscapone glaze). And the most talked about treat in Calgary lately: the maple bacon hand-filled donut dipped in brown maple glaze finished with crumbled Valbella bacon that is surprisingly (or not really, I guess) delicious.
As for the lifetime on the hips, we’ll worry about that later. —MG
Large donuts $2.25 (minis are $1.95) or six large ones for $14.18, a dozen, $24.95. Jelly Modern Donuts, 100 1414 Eighth St. SW, Calgary, 403-453-2053, www.jellymoderndonuts.com
May 13th, 2011
The long awaited new location of the Calgary Farmers’ Market finally opened its doors late last month.
Hit the market every Thursday to Sunday and you’ve got dinner covered:
Start with some Mr. Artichoke esfihas (a mini flatbread of sorts) from Mr. Esfiha as an appy, then throw some fresh halibut from Blu Seafood on the grill and serve with veggies (asparagus is currently in-season) from The Cherry Pit.
Dinner is served. —MG
Calgary Farmers’ Market, 510 77th Ave. SE, Calgary, www.calgaryfarmersmarket.ca
May 12th, 2011
Fancy a swig of smoked-salmon-flavoured vodka? The fishy proposition doesn’t sound so great until you imagine it with a tall glass of Clamato juice and voila, a Caesar with bite.
Made by soaking real smoked salmon filets in ethanol before being re-distilled back into the vodka, the Alaska Distillery product is just one of the many delectable highlights at the Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival starting tomorrow.
Take the scenic drive to The Fairmont Banff Springs where dozens of Banff restaurants will be on-hand with menu samples (ouzo prawns, honey glazed duck confit sliders and pork belly macaroni and cheese, to name a few) paired of course with wine, beer and spirits.
Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Destival, Fairmont Banff Springs, May 13 and 14, tickets from $19, www.rockymountainwine.com
May 6th, 2011
When it comes to most things in life, the general rule is you should never mess with a classic, but sometimes, a little tweaking is a lot of fun.
The Big Cheese Poutinerie, the new 17th Avenue hot spot where you’ll spy plenty of young hipsters with high metabolisms hanging out, serves up over 20 different kinds of poutine, and that’s not including the custom-built options. You can’t go wrong with the classic concoction of potatoes, cheese curds and gravy (from $5.49) but if you’re feeling adventurous, or gluttonous for that matter, opt for the Notorious P.I.G. (pulled pork, double smoked bacon and Italian sausage, from $7.99) and for your daily serving of veggies (it counts), the Loaded Veggie has mushrooms, caramelized onion, roasted peppers and peas (from $6.49).
Rolling to your car not included. —MG
The Big Cheese Poutinerie, 738 17th Ave. SW, Calgary, 403-457-2873, www.mybigcheese.com