Restaurant Review: Bistro Rouge

>> Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A new trend seems to have taken off in Calgary this year. Amazing restaurants are starting to open sister branches in areas that are unconventional for people who would rather avoid the chaos of the core. Of course this also opens up additional dining options to those that are willing to drive a little bit to fulfill their cravings. I’ve never been one to let a bit of distance get in the way of me reaching my hunger goals and I’ve wanted to check out Bistro Rouge for a while. Lucky for me, my friends are just the same and off we went.
Atmosphere: Brightly lit dining room with a great view overlooking the SW part of the city highlighted by splashes of funky farm styled décor. The restaurant features niches perfect for hosting larger parties.
Price Range: Mid $10s - $20s
Food and Wine: Shortly after placing our order, the waiter brought out some amazing bread for the table. He mentioned that they were very addictive and I concur, it was truly magnificent. He wasn’t kidding when he said we wouldn’t be able to stop after just one basket.  Lucky for me we also decided to order the Trio of Spreads, which included a Basil Aioli, Olive Tapenade and a White Garlic Bean Dip that evening. If bread and butter weren’t already trouble enough for me. My favourite of the three was the garlic bean dip, it had the consistency of hummus and the garlic gave it a nice kick.  I also enjoy the basil aioli. I enjoy mayonnaise, I enjoy basil, simple yet flavourful so it worked for me. The olive tapenade was a nice balance between salty and sour, I’m not usually a huge fan of olives due to that very fact and so it was nice that the flavours were very light.

When I was finally able to pull myself away from the bread and refocus, I dug in to the Fresh Wild Mushrooms with Truffled Brioche appetizer. The dish was plated differently than what I had imagined it would look like, thinking the mushrooms would be placed on top of cut pieces of brioche toast. Instead, the brioche was sitting atop a creamy mushroom sauce. Change is good. I really liked the various wild mushrooms used to create the dish, each one providing a different aroma and taste to the dish. It’s always nice trying different varieties of fungi since there are so many! The sauce was amazing and truffle oil never hurts, especially when it comes to mushrooms.

When our Pork Loin entrée arrived, I thought we had ordered a salad, but after a little digging we found the grilled pork amongst the candied apples, brie cheese, pecans and endive, all of it topped off with roasted garlic puree. Apples with pork is an undisputed winning combo, the sweetness enhances every aspect of the delicate flavours of the pork. The loin was extremely tender even though it was cooked through. It was a nice to have all the fresh greens served with the dish, a nice change to roasted vegetables.

We also couldn’t leave without ordering the much recommended Half Roasted Chicken. Served with fries, gravy and vegetables, it’s another classic dinner combination. The herb de Provence rub added a pleasant aroma to the chicken, which was moist and juicy. I couldn’t stop picking at the thin cut fries, dipping them in to the gravy and ketchup. The dish also went nicely with a glass of crisp sparkling Brut wine.

For dessert, I couldn’t help but order the Sticky Bread Pudding. When it arrived the bread pudding was swimming in a buttery caramel sauce topped with crunchy caramel chunks and whipped cream. I did secretly wish for ice cream, however since the sauce wasn’t overly sweet, we were satisfied without. The bread pudding had a nice chewiness that eventually just melted away. The caramel chunks provided a nice texture contrast and reminded me of little crunchie bits (used to love crunchie chocolate bars). It wasn’t overly heavy and was a great way to end the evening.
My Picks: Fresh Wild Mushroom with Truffled Brioche, Half Roasted Chicken
Overall: Being the little sister of Rouge in Inglewood. The menu offered items that aligned with a slightly more casual dining experience perfect for the area in which it resides. The menu is focused and offers items that are currently fresh and in season, so for those looking for lots of variety, take it as not having to flip through a novel before choosing your meal. The plates are great for sharing, so sample a bit of everything because when you’re back next it might be different, which just keeps things interesting and maybe everyone will be a bit more inclined to make that trek.
Bistro Rouge
308 1919 Sirocco Dr SW
Calgary, AB
(403) 514-0561

Bistro Rouge on Urbanspoon


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