>> Thursday, January 5, 2012
I know it’s a new year and the majority of people are looking to eat better and be healthier overall. However, I think there is always still room to enjoy (while being mindful about it)! I don’t think I could ever give up dining out and trying all the exciting new dishes and menus, especially because they’re ever changing. Everything in moderation is key right? Plus, who could resist something Latin inspired especially when living in such a great city with a new bursting foodie scene?
Atmosphere: Contrasting atmosphere between the cool ‘Ox’ lounge and the warm ‘Angela’ restaurant. Either is a great setting for tapas for an evening out.
Price Range: Mid $10s - $30+
Food and Wine: After being seated on the ‘Angela’ restaurant side (couldn’t help peeking over in to the lounge as well), we received our menus and decided on a couple of appetizers.
We started with the Empanadas, which came exactly 3 to an order (there was 3 of us and was perfect for sharing, 1 each was ideal). The empanadas were filled with a lovely braised oxtail, caramelized onions and queso fresco blend. I didn’t find it oily or heavy, which can usually happen with deep fried items. Luckily for us we had the Ceviche served shortly after. Made with fresh snapper, lime, not very spicy jalapenos, cilantro, and creamy avocado, it was served with a side of house made crispy tortillas. I found the best part of the dish to be the tortillas. The ceviche itself wasn’t overly spicy or acidic, overall it was fairly mild. It was nice to get fresh fish in Calgary during the winter though!
For our entrée dishes we shared the Duck Breast and Braised Lamb. The duck breast was oven roasted and served with duck confit all in a chocolately mole sauce. The duck was very tender and had a light smokey flavour due to the dark chocolate. The dish came with a very nice butternut squash hash which accompanied the apple and tomatillo salsa very well. The lamb shank was extremely tender after many hours of braising. It was literally fall off the bone tender. It came with quinoa, roasted beets all in an adobo sauce, which I really enjoyed. I did leave off the citrus slices on the side though, I’m not a huge citrus fan when it comes to mains and decided that the adobo sauce was great the way it was.
After scanning their dessert menu, I knew we had to get the Churros as a dessert item. They were extremely crispy with lots of cinnamon and sugar (almost good enough to warrant not dipping in to the chocolate sauce, but how could you resist that). The side of warm chocolate sauce was thick enough for the dipping but not stiff. They really give you a lot of the chocolate and we almost ended up wanting to order just a side of churros to go with the sauce. Instead we decided to just eat it as is! For the second dessert (we were sharing, one is never enough!), we tried the Dulche de Leche Mille Fuille. A mille fuille is usually made up of many layers of sauce or cream in the middle. In this case it was layered with dulche de leche and served with a bit of crème fraiche on top. I found the it to be a bit too sweet and ended up balancing it out with the chocolate sauce!
The wine for our meal was the Dialogo Douro Portugal wine 2008, from the Douro region of Portugal. A deep ruby red in color, but not overly bold compared to other Portuguese wines (usually what they’re known for). Soft tannins, fruity flavours and a long finish, it went great with both the duck and lamb dishes.
My Picks: Ceviche, Churros
Overall: I hope everybody does achieve their new years resolutions and still remembers to take the time to enjoy! What better place then at Ox and Angela, where you can choose either tapas or going all out. Where the food journey is really up to you, plus sharing the moment with others over great food is always a bonus!
Ox and Angela
528 17th Avenue SW