>> Tuesday, April 19, 2011
April is going by in a blur and when I started to look back I could barely recall what happened at the beginning of it all. I had to stop and think hard and wonder, how did I let time get away from me like that? Then again, I’m sure I’m not the only one. Project deadlines, meetings, phone calls, emails and next thing you know…it’s Friday again, then another one and another. Not that I’m complaining about a Friday, no no, I would never do such a thing. However I’d like to look back and remember what I did on each of those short but amazing weekends, so what better way to do so then to relax and enjoy a long evening meal with people that you love? Food always makes things better right?
Atmosphere: Located in a historical Calgary landmark building, with a grand dining area and white marble façade perfectly fitted for a lovely Italian style menu.
Price Range: (normal menu) Mid $20s - $30+ (tasting menu) $95
Food and Wine: The menu presents so many different options that we found it hard to decide on what we were going to have for dinner. I had a particularly hard time since I wanted a little bit of every dish plus the daily chef and rotisserie specials. So with a bit of perusing, we ended up going with the Chef’s Tasting menu and let them take care of our needs rather then having to choose for our own.
Teatro’s tasting menu consists of 8 different courses, which changes daily based on what the chef’s freshest ingredients are for that day. We were warned that it would take roughly 3 hours to complete the meal, but we weren’t in a rush that evening (something you should reconsider if you are). They’re also very accommodating of dietary needs if you’re lactose intolerant or have food sensitivities. There is also an option to get the wine pairings for each course, but I was already drawn to the Chianti Classico’s by then (my new found addiction) and ordered a bottle of the Felsina before we decided on said meal.
Before our meal began, we were also served an amuse bouche with smoked salmon over a crunchy crouton. The waiter also graciously brought out (which would be more then once before the evening was over) some lovely focaccia bread, which can only be described as fluffy and melt in your mouth goodness, as well as a soft chewy roll for those who preferred something a little different.
Our first course was an exquisite raw Malpeque Oyster with sweet jelly and tobiko. I’ve never had tobiko on top of my oyster before and the texture contrast was interesting. I’d definitely have to try it again at home. Up next was a Bison Carpaccio served with a sweet balsamic reduction, olive oil and baby spinach. The balsamic enhanced the sweetness and tenderness of the bison.
Moving on to the entrée plates of the evening, we had a perfectly Seared Scallop with a slice of crispy chorizo sausage over sprouts, Belgian endives and a raspberry vinaigrette. I could definitely have just eaten this dish all night due to perfect flavour contrast between the chorizo and scallops. For our pasta dish, we were served a Squid Ink Pasta with Lobster in a garlic pesto sauce. Not your traditional pesto, but for garlic lovers such as myself, I need to start making pesto this way from now on. The pasta was a little above al dente but not overcooked, however the lobster wasn’t as sweet and juicy as I would have liked.
The fifth course continued with the seafood theme and came with a Seared Ahi Tuna with a tomato, fava bean salad and a side of arugula pesto. I preferred the garlicky pesto, but the tomato ragu was perfectly seasoned and a bit spicy which was a nice addition to the dish. The tuna itself was a little dry, not sure if it was the treatment of the piece of fish itself or whether the kitchen received it that way, but I’d have to say it was an easily forgettable tuna dish.
For our sixth and last entrée course, we were served a Beef Short Rib au jus with marinated beets. The short rib was fall off the bone tender and the beets were soft and juicy. The jus wasn’t overly salted, which I preferred
For our last two courses, we were served a cheese (for the husband) and a fruit platter (for myself) and two lovely desserts. Since I didn’t taste the cheese, I couldn’t really attest to what it was, but my husband seemed to have enjoyed it since there was nothing left on the plate. The apple jam that came with the cheese was tangy and went well on the platter (or so I was told). My fruit was perfect. The Mango Sorbet and Chocolate Marquise (think a creamy mousse), were both light and wrapped up our meal nicely. However, I probably could have still used a big pie but that was because I was just craving something really sugary at the end of my meal that evening.
My Picks: Seared Scallop (not always on the menu, but it was the chef’s special dish for the evening as well).
Overall: Our meal was a very nice end to a very hectic and busy week. It’s often that we forget that we have to slow down amist this crazy world, so it’s definitely a great idea to relax, sit back with a lovely bottle of wine and some amazing food created by a wonderful chef (you can tell how long we were there considering the darkness of the last photo!).
Teatro Restaurant200 8 Ave SE