Restaurant Review: West Restaurant and Bar

>> Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Caesar salad

People often ask me where I find the time to blog considering I’m currently planning a wedding, managing a crazy project and trying to manage a move and to be honest I really don’t know. I think I blog because it gives me an out, somewhere to express what my thoughts are and some place to express my feelings through my cooking and eating (sometimes my working out). In a way they’re all related, no? Eating out makes me happy therefore in turn writing about it just reminds me about those happy times and who doesn’t find the time to try and be happy? See they ARE all related. So when some friends invited me out to West to enjoy a few drinks and some food, my stomach and I were happy to have been invited and happier still to be writing about it.

Atmosphere: Trendy and hip, soon to have Calgary’s largest rooftop patio (hopefully before the snow falls) and if you stay well in to the night, West becomes an interesting after dinner hang out.

Ahi Tuna
Price: $10s-$20s

Food and Wine: To be honest, I’ve been to West several times before I was able to sit myself down and write this quick review (this is where that whole no time thing comes in to play), so instead of the usual walkthrough of my meal. I guess I’ll just write down what I remember from those different instances at West.

To start, I’d recommend the Gyoza, which was very light and perfect for sharing. The dish came with a nice spicy dipping sauce without overwhelming the taste of the gyozas. The Coast Spring Rolls weren’t too bad either.

After sampling a variety of different dishes, I must say that I was quite impressed with the pasta. The Braised Short Rib Rigatoni was superb! The rigatoni itself was cooked al-dente, the only way pasta should ever be served but the short rib was perfectly tender done with a nice red wine sauce. The only dish preventing me from saying that the rigatoni was my favourite is the Pork Belly Risotto. Again the risotto was done magnificently al-dente this time with a lovely pork jus and bacon topping. I just knew if I were ever at West, those two would have to be my main go to dishes, plus they’re very well priced!

West’s menu has quite a few different selections ranging from the chef’s corner to burgers and steaks, but our server mentioned that one of their specialty dishes was the fish. The West Coast Halibut was served with a lemon grass sauce but because I enjoy my fish usually a little closer to medium-well, I thought it was a little too well done for my liking. My friend ordered the Wasabi Ahi Tuna and it looked quite delicious, but I guess she wasn’t overly too thrilled by it either. Maybe our server should have just referred us to the rigatoni or the risotto instead?

I’ve also had a few bites of the Blueberry Ginger Crème Brulee served with a nice blueberry shortbread. The crème brulee was a nice texture but I don’t remember the ginger coming through since the blueberry was quite overpowering. It wasn’t too sweet which was nice but I can’t remember much about the shortbread, so it probably wasn’t enough of shortbread to make an impression.

As for the wine, since West also turns in to the bar at night, there are endless drink selections and of course wine. Don’t be afraid to play around with your drink and your food!

Creme Brulee
My Picks: Braised Short Rib Rigatoni, Pork Belly Risotto

Overall: Great location, but it is a little noisy since the music is louder than your average restaurant, just remember that it does turn in to a bar in the evenings, which I’m sure is a great place for happy memories (especially with a few glasses of wine).

West Restaurant and Bar
225 7th Avenue SW
Calgary, AB
(403) 237-5556

West Restaurant and Bar on Urbanspoon


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