Restaurant Review: Q Haute Cuisine

>> Friday, May 31, 2013

Now that the weather is starting to warm up, it’s been great getting out for a few runs and freeing myself from the dull indoor treadmill. The best part about running outside, aside from the much needed vitamin D, is the view. One of my favorite running locations in Calgary is along the Bow River pathway. On one of these runs, I realized that I passed by the old La Caille on the Bow restaurant, which has been Q Haute for a number of years now. I remembered how much I enjoyed my meals at both La Caille and Q Haute. So feeling nostalgic I figured it has been far too long since I’ve paid them a visit.

Atmosphere: An elegant and bright dining area with beautiful views of Princess Island Park and the Bow River.

Price Range: Mid $10s - $40+

Food & Wine: We went specifically for the Chef’s Tasting Menu that evening. It’s hard not to get the full experience when at Q Haute because of the care and attention Chef Michele puts in to the progression of the meal.

The evening began with a light Spinach Egg Yolk with fig and bacon dust, which had a very unique texture due to the yolk being formed using molecular gastronomy. Once you pop the yolk, you can really get a sense of the spinach flavours coming through. Alongside, we also had a goat cheese and orange jam amuse, creamy yet tangy to contrast the crunch of the crackers along side. Next we were presented with Buckwheat Bellini’s served with cantaloupe caviar. I really enjoyed the presentation of this dish. The caviar was very whimsical, light and also provided interesting texture to the bellinis. All this and we had just begun our dining journey.

Our first course was the Mushroom Truffle Terrine wrapped with cucumber and served with seasonal vegetables. The plate was almost too pretty to eat, but I could only hold off so long. The terrine was very intriguing in flavour and texture. It reminded me of a specific a Chinese dessert with a kick of truffle at the end. The consistency of the terrine was similar to a jelly. I would have really like a bit of crunch in this dish to add a slight contrast, although the veggies were a nice addition.

The second course of the evening was a rich and creamy Risotto featuring peas, shrimp and tuna. I never would have thought those ingredients would go so well together, but they did. It was one of my most favorite dishes because the flavours were all very well balanced. The risotto itself was cooked perfectly and I was definitely craving for more after it was done.

Next was our main, the Beef Tenderloin served with a quail stuffed sausage, artichokes and pickled asparagus. Another beautifully presented plate, however the taste of the dish was even more phenomenal. The tenderloin was cooked perfectly, remaining moist and tender with just the right amount of au jus and creamy mashed potatoes to kick up the flavour profile (who am I kidding..I would have probably eaten a bowlful of just the mashed potatoes). It was also a treat to taste quail, which is a meat that isn’t used enough in restaurants but yet has amazing robust flavours. Alongside our main we were also served croquettes, peas and ramps. Everything was just perfectly paired.

To end our meal we had a trinity of desserts. First being a Honey Cream Lollipop with Orange made straight off the antigriddle (I need to get one of those). It literally was a melt in your mouth treat to prep us for the decadent Chocolate Ganache Cake. The cake was served with a tableside presentation of nitrogen made pistachio ice cream. Since the ice cream is made using liquid nitrogen as opposed to the traditional method, it produced a very unique outer shell with a lighter creamy interior. The ganache was very decadent, perfect for the chocolate aficionado. We also got to sample the banana liquid nitrogen ice cream and I believe everyone at the table preferred the pistachio because it had a nice nutty flavour, whereas the banana seemed to have gotten lost in the freezing process.

Our very last treats included perfectly formed Apple Macarons, velvety Chocolate Truffles and tart Beet Lollipops, all culminating in a fabulous end to our amazing dining journey.

In addition to each course we were served amazing wine pairings selected by the restaurant that evening. Q Haute offers those pairings to any Chef’s Tasting menu, just ask your server.

My Picks: Risotto, Beef Tenderloin

Overall: Not only is the view from the restaurant a beautiful one, but the food is equally as pleasing to the eye (and stomach). Chef Michele has truly captured the stunning ingredients on his plates by utilizing seasonal items to highlight their flavours. Add in a bit of molecular gastronomy and each dish is made even more glamorous.
Q Haute Cuisine
100 La Caille Pl SW
Calgary, AB
(403) 262-5554

Q Haute Cuisine on Urbanspoon


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