Restaurant Review: Open Range

>> Friday, March 11, 2011


Ice Cream Trio

I’m usually pretty good about carrying my camera with me at all times in case there’s a moment in life I would like to capture, which apparently is quite often especially if I know it’s either lunch or dinner time. I love to take photos of everything and of course food rates pretty high up there on the list. Unfortunately I don’t usually carry around the big SLR cameras (which would take amazing photos, but I can’t fit that in my bag or else I’d get stopped all the time and asked to have my bag searched) since they’re really not that inconspicuous and I’d prefer not to bother other people around me when I’m taking a photo, especially if I’m at a restaurant. I can’t imagine it would be that much fun seeing things flash in the distance while trying to enjoy a romantic dinner out. So I tend to carry a small point and shoot camera in my purse in case I do feel the need to take and an impromptu photo.

However, sometimes I even forget my point and shoot camera because like all other women out there, I have more than one handbag and tend to like to change them now and again. The only problem with that is, sometimes my handbags doesn’t really have extra room for a camera (I’d be lucky if I can fit my wallet in some of them). So I’ve got to work with what I have, which ends up being the last resort camera that I own and carry with me at all times, the camera on my iphone 3GS. Unlike the new iphone 4, the 3GS photos really don’t look all that great and you can imagine by looking at the photos below what happened to me that night we decided to go for dinner at Open Range so I apologize in advance (photoshop can only do so much).

Atmosphere: Rustic comfort which takes you far away from any resemblance of urban city life.
Price Range: Mid $20s - $30s

Duck Breast
Food and Wine: Shortly after realizing that I didn’t have my camera on me, I proceeded to order some food to eat away my misery. Like most of my meals amongst friends, we tend to order several different mains so we can all try a little of everything. Since Open Range is known for its meat dishes, we ended up ordering the Venison Osso Buco, Buffalo Short Ribs and Duck Breast. The venison was braised in a tomato red wine sauce and very tender served with cilantro and fennel which added a nice flavour profile to the dish. The buffalo short ribs had an amazing ancho chili BBQ sauce and were falling of the bone tender. The duck breast was a nice contrast to the other gamier meats, covered in a cider glaze and accompanied with braised apples which made the dish nice and light.

For dessert, we ended up with the Flourless Chocolate Cake and the House Made Ice Cream Trio. The cake was tender and moist without being overly sweet. It was served with a rich dark chocolate ice cream and lavender poached pears. The ice cream came with three different flavours, eggnog (it was around Christmas season when we were there), cookie dough and strawberry cheesecake (my favourite). Each flavour was unique and the restaurant changes them fairly often so each time you order it, it’ll be a surprise!

I was quite surprised that they carried Portuguese wine, since there are very few restaurants in Calgary that do. It’s even hard pressed to find local liquor stores that carry Portuguese wine and I’ve become partial to it since tasting them in Portugal last year, so we decided to order a bottle of the Casa Do Conego from Lisboa. It was a mixed varietal wine and since it came from the Lisbon area, it probably contained some Cabernet Sauvignon. It was a medium bodied wine and paired well with the heavier game meat that we had for dinner and the chocolate cake dessert. If you haven’t tried Portuguese wine, I do highly recommend them.

Chocolate Cake
My Picks: Buffalo Short Ribs

Overall: Although I was sadden at the fact that I forgot my camera (yet again). The food and the atmosphere at Open Range quickly made me forget about my forgotten camera which allowed me to sit back relax, enjoy my delightful meal and a lovely evening amongst good company and great wine.

Open Range
1114 Edmonton Trail NE
Calgary, AB
(403) 277-3408
Website: http://www.open-range.ca/

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