Calgary - DINING & NIGHTLIFE
November 19th, 2010
All apples are not created equal. In the case of the Ambrosia, the variety is a chance seedling whose parentage is not 100 per cent known and was discovered by a B.C. family on their orchard in the 1990s. Famed for its sweetness, versatility and beauty (pink blush on the outside and slow to turn brown), the B.C. Tree Fruits apple can be used in a variety of dishes. Former Calgarian, chef Ned Bell, shared a recipe that’s perfect for cold winter nights.
Ambrosia Apple, Winter Squash, Corn and Cheddar Soup
1 lb peeled and grated Ambrosia apples
1 lb frozen cubed winter squash
2 cups frozen corn
1 litre vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup cream (or half milk to reduce fat)
¼ stick butter
1 white onion, diced
2 cups grated white cheddar
Sauté the onions in the butter for five minutes, add the Ambrosia apples, the cubed squash and corn and cook for 10 minutes. Add the stock and the cream, cook for another 10 minutes and then add the grated cheddar. Puree with a hand blender until smooth and season with salt and cracked black pepper.
November 5th, 2010
Unless your fairy godmother is in town, your rags won’t turn into a ball gown overnight. But that doesn’t mean you’re stuck wearing the same old thing to every holiday party this year.
A Badgley Mischka (pictured), Diane von Furstenberg, Catherine Malandrino or Pucci are only a click away at Cakewalk Designer Dress Rentals. Make an appointment for a fitting with a stylist, or simply choose the dress you want shipped to your house online, wear it and return it the next day. Rentals start from $50 depending on the retail price of the dress, and a variety of sizes are available in each style. The Calgary company also offers hair and make-up styling for a head-to-toe transformation.
Head to Hotel Arts this Monday for a three-day open house where you can see the current selection of dresses, try them on and meet the stylists.
Glass slippers and handsome princes not included.
Cakewalk Designer Dress Rentals open house, November 8-11, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily at Hotel Arts, 119 12th Ave. SW, Calgary, www.beautyuncovered.ca
October 29th, 2010
Naughty nurse? Lame. Saucy cop? We'll pass. We've created a list of DIY Halloween costumes that can be thrown together faster than you can say "the devil made me do it."
Set the spray tan dial to orange to hit Halloween as Jersey Shore’s most romantic guidette. Sport a long black wig or do your own hair with the tallest of Bumpits and layer on the Ed Hardy attire.
Jennifer Nachshen, Montreal editor
A sexy superwoman with a dash of science-fiction fantasy based on Brigitte Bardot. Leggings and a tight top, big hair and dramatic eyes. Done!
Elsa Vecchi, Montreal editor, French edition
I’m wearing a mini-cereal box (with a bloody plastic knife glued to it) as a fascinator. Eat your heart out Philip Treacy.
Athena Tsavliris, Toronto editor
Long blonde hair in ringlets,a red lip, some liquid eyeliner for her trademark cat-eye. Pair a simple dress with cowboy boots and strap on a bedazzled guitar.
Malwina Gudowska, Calgary editor
1960s model mash-up
Part Veruschka von Lehndorff, part Veruca Salt from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, pairing long model hair and makeup (here’s some inspiration) with a Peter Pan-collared dress, knee-high socks and ballet flats.
Joy Pecknold, Vancouver editor
A black veil, red eye makeup, a meat onesie, 8-inch platform shoes. What could be cuter on your infant girl?
Sarah Bancroft, Editor-in-chief
October 22nd, 2010
Dress to impress, the food that is, by serving your creations in Le Creuset’s Mini-Cocottes at your next dinner party.
A petite version of the French classic, the dishes are ideal for individual portions and come in eight different hues.
And as party season looms, pick up the limited edition set of four ($100) at the new, and first, Canadian standalone store.
Le Creuset, Chinook Centre, 6455 Macleod Trail SW, Calgary, 403-262-1128, www.lecreuset.ca
October 15th, 2010
Our weekends at the lake may be over but who said we had to give up our cabin in the woods?
From the owners of the famed River Café comes Boxwood, a charming and petite eatery tucked alongside the newly revamped Central Memorial Park. Reminiscent of a cozy cottage with wood interiors and antler chandeliers, the menu stays true to its sister location’s food philosophy serving dishes from organic, locally sourced, seasonal ingredients.
Choose a few sides like the faro salad with nectarines and arugula ($6) or the stone-ground aged Grizzly Sylvan Star gouda cornmeal ($6) and pair them with a fresh-from-the-rotisserie pick like the Sunworks farm organic roasted chicken served with the best squash we’ve ever tasted ($15).
And you won't miss campfire smores when you have a dark chocolate and raspberry and caramel brownie ($5) for dessert.
Boxwood, Central Memorial Park, 340 13th Ave. SW, Calgary, 403-265-4006, www.boxwoodcafe.ca
October 8th, 2010
It’s hard work tasting close to 3,000 wines, but somebody’s got to do it.
Calgary wine columnist Shelley Boettcher took on the tasty task for her new book, Uncorked!: The Definitive Guide to Alberta’s Best Wines Under $25.
After years of swirling, sipping, sniffing and savouring, Boettcher put together a list of the best 150 inexpensive wines available in the Alberta market.
The compilation includes everything from sparkling and sweet wines, kosher and organic to wines for every occasion (i.e. grandma’s birthday or Sunday brunch).
The book also includes tasting descriptions, suggested retail prices, food pairings and even how to track down the bottles for the ultimate guide to being an oenophile without breaking the bank.
From $15.16, pre-order here.
October 1st, 2010
What better place to rehash tales from Friday night than back at the scene of the crime.
Ok, maybe not, but if you’ve ever danced up a storm late into the night at the Metropolitan Grill, it’s time to adjust your clock and head there for brunch.
It’s only common sense to go to the hair of the dog that bit you so start the morning with the Met’s fruit sangria. If you’re up for something hearty, the Met Egg sandwich is a fresh take on a classic served with prosciutto, arugula and delectable pesto mayo.
And every Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Scotty Hills plays his blues and soul tunes which makes for a lovely afternoon.
Brunch just turned into lunch.
Metropolitan Grill, 317 Eighth Ave. SW, Calgary, 403-263-5432 and 880 16th Ave. SW, Calgary, 403-802-2393, www.themetropolitangrill.ca
September 17th, 2010
If your feasts are lacking in flavour, it’s time to ditch the spice rack you bought when you first moved out, and start fresh.
From the Calgary Farmers’ Market to Ramsay, The Silk Road Spice Merchant just opened its first shop.
Specializing in whole and ground spices, herbs, chiles, seasonings and handmade blends from around the world, the shop is stocked with jar upon jar of lovely concoctions.
Pick up some Bow River Fish Blend (from $5.49) for tonight’s trout or add a touch of lavender to poultry or potatoes with the Herbes de Provence (from $4.49). Bakers need only the Pumpkin Pie Spice (from $5.49) for pies or carrot or zucchini breads. The experts even suggest adding a pinch to squash-based soups.
That’s what we call a pantry makeover.
The Silk Road Spice Merchant, 2010A 11th St. SE, Calgary, www.silkroadspices.ca
September 10th, 2010
Post holiday, fall mornings usually mean one cup of Joe is not enough, so why settle for just one café?
True to its name, Chiasso Coffee Company, is creating a racket with its second location (a third and fourth are on the way). The 17th Avenue café is a cozy space with apple green walls and a Buddha, silver horse head and cuckoo clock thrown into the décor mix.
More important, the bold Americano passed the taste test, as did the breakfast picks: the Almost Famous breakfast sandwich ($5.25) and the Crack of Dawn chicken wrap ($7.95).
Now for that second cup.
Chiasso, 843 17th Ave. SW, Calgary, 403-228-1005 and 308 Fourth Ave. SW, Calgary, 403- 266-7595, www.chiasso.ca
September 2nd, 2010
Inspired by his favourite treat, the Cookie Monster creates poems about his beloved cookies.
At the new Inglewood bakery Cookie Mama, the prose turns to music with nearly two dozen types of cookies, each inspired by a classic tune.
Our favourites include Sweetest Taboo (sunflower and sesame seeds, oatmeal, wheat germ and coconut), Good Vibrations (dark chocolate and Skor chips) and the gluten-free Cocomo, a coconut macaroon with chocolate drizzle ($2.50 each). There are also egg-, dairy- and butter-free cookie options and cupcakes such as the Rocket Man (cookies and cream with chocolate oreo butter cream icing, $3 each).
Cookie Mama, 1420 Ninth Ave. SE, Calgary, 403-266-5431, www.cookiemamacalgary.com