Calgary - DINING & NIGHTLIFE
August 10th, 2012
Dig out your best afternoon party dress and dust off your royal wedding fascinator for a secret tea party.
Serving traditional scones and Chantilly cream, tea sandwiches and delicate pastries, The Fairmont Palliser's first-ever pop-up afternoon tea ($50 per guest) will happen at a top-secret location, announced days before the exclusive event.
Pinkies up, ladies. —Kait Kucy
Sunday, August 18 (2 p.m.-4 p.m.), $50 per person; The Fairmont Palliser; address to be announced three days prior to event, 403-260-1222, www.fairmont.com/palliser-calgary
August 3rd, 2012
When craving delicious, farm fresh cuisine, Downtown is the place to go.
Focused on sustainability and local ingredients, Downtown Food's small, well-crafted dinner menu inspires your palette with new flavours like the savoury watermelon salad.
Signature dishes stand out like the bold tastes of the Korean BBQ-inspired Noble Meadows Crispy Duck Leg. Working with local Albertan farmers directly, you know that what arrives on your plate is healthy and environmentally sustainable.
While it might not be the easiest place to find (but hey, that's what a GPS is for), Downtown Food is centrally located with plenty of parking spots nearby. —Kait Kucy
Downtown Food, 628 Eighth Ave. SW., Calgary, 587-353-3474, www.downtownfood.ca
July 27th, 2012
Cibo means food in Italian and we all love food, right?
The new multi-level restaurant is perfect for every meal, from family dinners to after work get-togethers to large group gatherings. With fabulous serving staff slinging beautiful tasting dishes (1/$4, 3/$11, 5/$18), there's a true sense of the warm, family-style dining that Cibo fosters.
The incredible happy hour pizza is only $5 for a 6” personal pizza. To top it off, fill your glass with Mill St. or a beautiful pour of Alpha Zeta for an equally happy price.
Consensus on the favourite menu item: the Spinach Artichoke Gnocchi with lemon, basil and ricotta salata. Delizioso! —Kait Kucy
Cibo, 1012 17th Ave. SW., Calgary, 403-984-4755, www.cibocalgary.com
July 25th, 2012
Focusing on classic French dishes and creating an ambience of leisure and romance, Avec Bistro is our top pick for date night.
Commited to the simplicity of French cuisine, the bistro combines local and sustainable ingredients to the delight of food lovers and Francophiles alike. The Pork Chop with Pomme Lyonnaise and Apple Brown Butter will melt in your mouth. Looking for a quick bite? The Grilled Asparagus and King oyster mushroom salad should do the trick. —Kait Kucy
Avec Bistro, 101-550 11th Ave. SW., Calgary, 587-352-0964, www.avecbistro.com
July 20th, 2012
In Calgary’s bustling food scene, 80th & Ivy Wine Kitchen takes the cake for its inventive approach to serving up local produce and meats.
The latest addition to 17th Avenue’s restaurant row, its glamourous new locale is ideal for food and wine lovers alike. With so much to offer, including a fun Asian spin on the classic slider: rotisserie chicken with Asian slaw served up on a Chinese sweet bun, you’ll want to order everything.
Looking for an excuse to hit the patio? Wednesdays feature 30 of their favourite wines for $30 a bottle. Need I say more? —Kait Kucy
80th & Ivy Wine Kitchen, 127 17th Ave. SW.,Calgary, 403-452-6907, facebook.com/80thivymodernkitchen
July 17th, 2012
Craft beer is the hottest trend in libations since the cosmopolitan.
Hone your hops expertise at Heritage Park's Big Rock Interpretive Brewery Brewing Course (say that fast three times). Working with a proper brewer, you'll create a batch from scratch: recipe, formulation and bottling. After four weeks, you get a 500ml sample of your bespoke beer.
On the night you pick up your custom batch, bond with your fellow ale enthusiasts at the Selkirk Grille, which will have beer tasting and appetizers. Cheers to that. —Kait Kucy
$89.95 per person. July 19 and 26, August 9 and 23, 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Heritage Park, 1900 Heritage Dr. SW., Calgary, 403-268-8500, www.heritagepark.ca
July 12th, 2012
Hailing from all the way across the country, incredibly unique candy shop Freak Lunchbox has opened its first store beyond the Maritimes.
Flogging some of strangest and tastiest treats this side of the universe, the carnivalesque shop is a freak show and funhouse mirror all in one. Hand-painted signs created by their Halifax team of artists flank every available wall space, while rows and rows of candy bring out the best in children of all ages. Adding to the old-fashioned flare of the place are the delicious milkshakes - an exact cure for hot summer nights.
It's freaky good. —Kait Kucy
Freak Lunchbox, 614A 17th Ave. SW., Calgary, 403-228-4480, www.freaklunchbox.com
July 11th, 2012
Amidst the beautiful brick heritage buildings of Victoria Park, a tiny new cafe resides with promises of the future development of this up and coming neighbourhood.
Situated at the base of the Arriva condominiums on 11th Ave SE, Calgary’s much-loved Caffe Rosso opens its third location, bringing a much-needed social and meeting space to the area.
And it's not just espresso addicts who should be excited: the impressive wine fridge is definitely a sign of the exciting wine list to come. —Kait Kucy
Caffe Rosso, 425 11th Ave. SE., Calgary, 403-971-1800, www.cafferosso.ca
July 9th, 2012
For the first time ever, Pamplona, Spain’s Running of the Bulls is happening at the same times as the Calgary Stampede.
Live coverage of the bull fights will aired at Ox & Angela, complemented by several signature cocktails and the authentic Bull Fighters Dinner, a three course meal based on a Matador’s celebratory feast after a victorious fight.
Experience the Awake Siesta everyday between 3 and 5 p.m. for half price drinks and tapas. Order up The Brett Ashley cocktail for a true piece of history: named after the lead character in Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, this drink features light citrus flavours and a housemade raspberry puree.
Red cape optional. —Kait Kucy
Ox & Angela, 528 17th Ave. SW., Calgary, 403-457-1432, www.oxandangela.com
July 4th, 2012
With over 100 beers available in house and delicious summer-inspired cocktails such as the bourbon-filled Pink Panther, National Beer Hall is the perfect after-work destination.
Designed for socializing with 20 of your closest friends, the long traditional harvest tables also make it easy to make new friends too.
Order up a made-to-your-liking Spring Creek Beef burger or the drool-inducing Lobster Poutine, set up camp on their beautiful patio and people-watch the day away. — Kait Kucy
National Beer Hall, 17 Ave. & 5th Street SW., Calgary, 403-229-0226, www.ntlbeerhall.com