Restaurant Review: Modern Steak

>> Friday, January 23, 2015

When I heard that Muse was closing, it was inevitable that I was saddened by the news. My husband and I have had some pretty spectacular meals there plus we celebrated our anniversary there making it extra special. An institution of sorts in Kensington, so when it was revealed that they were going to turn it in to a steakhouse, there were lots of skeptics. Saying Calgary already had too many steakhouses and don’t need another one. Well we are the province of steak and we’ve all got a penchant for it at heart. I was lucky enough to be able to attend a soft opening late last year and afterwards I couldn’t wait to bring my husband back to check out the newly renovated space and most importantly the updated menu.

Atmosphere: A contemporary space designed by the owner, really showcasing the beautiful split level design with lighter colors that really opens up the room.

Price Range: Mid $10s - $40s

Food and Wine: I had the honor of tasting their wonderful seafood selection the first time so I figured I’d stay with the steak and potatoes route this time order the Beef Tartare to start. Being a huge fan of tartares I’ve found that I’m very particular about the ingredients they use to flavour the meat. The version at Modern Steak was done perfectly. We really enjoyed the subtle tanginess which brought out the fresh flavours of the steak itself. The plate is served with house made salt and vinegar poplar bluff potato chips, but we opted to go with toasted crostinis which I found was easier to scoop up the tartare with and held up better as well. Although salt and vinegar chips are tasty!

I’m a sucker for Tenderloin and ordered the 8oz Heritage Natural Angus, which is sourced locally. All of the steaks come with a choice of side and I got the Sauteed Exotic Mushrooms. The steak was succulent and cooked to a perfect rare, I personally like my steaks rare especially when it’s tenderloin due to its lack of fat. I enjoyed that it also came with some roasted garlic which added some umami to the dish however I wouldn't have minded a bit more char on the exterior. Mushrooms were a classic choice, but the medley included crimini, shitaki and oyster mushrooms to change it up a bit.

The hubby ordered the Arctic Char served with crunchy Brussels sprouts, fingerling potatoes, capers and a pistachio lemon butter sauce. Everything on the dish complimented each other well. All of the ingredients were fresh and nicely cooked. The fish was extremely moist and flaky with a nice crispy skin. I liked the light but flavourful sauce, which didn’t overwhelm the fish. It’s definitely a great option for somebody looking for something aside from steak. We also ordered some Parmesan Fries and they were truly addicting. Each one was crispy and crunchy, it was hard not to eat them all except for the fact that I was already so full from everything else and I knew there was still dessert to be had.

We saw Cinnamon Bun on the dessert menu and could not pass it up and I’m glad that we didn’t. It was decadent and chewy with a crispness that only comes with a good amount of butter used to form the dough. Couple that with the gooey caramel sauce on top and creamy vanilla ice cream and you’ve got yourself a winner. I couldn’t stop eating it!

Wine for the evening was a beautiful Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley called Foppiano. It was a good wine for both those that are eating seafood and steak. Not overly bold or tart, the pinot had enough body to hold up to a steak but won't overshadow the fish. With lots of cherry and bright fruit flavours, it also makes for a great drinking wine.

My Picks: Beef Tartare, Cinnamon Bun

Overall: Although it was sad to see Muse close its doors, I’m glad that the space has been reinvented to a restaurant that isn’t only a steakhouse but does steak with a twist. Somebody once told me that change is good and I have to agree, but I’d say that change is delicious!

Modern Steak
107 10a St NW
Calgary, AB
(403) 670-6873

Modern Steak on Urbanspoon


Starting 2015 Off Sweet and Spicy - Honey Sriracha Popcorn

>> Thursday, January 15, 2015

Happy 2015! Albeit a little late but I’m still shocked that its seems like yesterday that we were just welcoming 2014, but there is a lot of rejoice about this year. It’s been officially 5 years since I’ve started this food blog and through this journey I’m so happy to have had the opportunity to share my recipes and thoughts with all! Plus I've had the opportunity have met some amazing people that have forever changed my life. It truly has been a wonderful experience and looking back it has also been a learning experience as well. In the world of food there is never such a thing as knowing too much because there is always more out there to discover and it’s a big culinary world with things changing all the time.

Talking about discovering new items, just earlier this month I started to use more coconut oil in my kitchen and also for its beauty benefits (soothing body lotion anybody?). I’ve read a lot about it online and I know tons of people are already enormous fans. Due to its multitude of uses it truly is nature’s gift. So to continue sharing my wonderful experiences on this blog here is a sweet (and spicy) way of using this ingredient to kick off hopefully another sweet year! Recipe has been adapted to make it even healthier from here.

Thanks again to all those that have followed my blog and provided me the support I needed the last couple years. Here’s to many more of everything! Experiences, meeting wonderful people and last but not least - great food~!

Nutritional Tidbit: When sourcing coconut oil you want to ensure that it was made using the cold pressed method, raw aka virgin. Anything aside from that would indicate that it was chemically produced and refined which would degrade the health properties of the oil. Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides which are shorter in length than animal fat and are metabolized differently in the body providing a fastest source of energy. It has been linked to increasing metabolism as well.


1/2 cup of popcorn kernels
3/4 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup honey
3 tbsp sriracha or a bit more if you like things really spicy
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup walnuts (optional)


Air pop the kernels using a popcorn machine. Feel free to double the amount of kernels (1 cup popcorn kernels) if you prefer the popcorn to have less caramel coverage per kernel.

Preheat the oven to 300ºF and line two sheetpans with parchment paper, I had to use foil since I ran out of parchment which I prefer, set aside.

In a saucepan over low to medium heat, bring the coconut oil and honey to a boil, stirring occasionally. Be careful that it doesn’t boil over which happens very easily.

After 5 minutes or so, remove the pot from the stovetop.

In a small bowl, mix together the sriracha, baking soda, salt and vanilla extract.

Add the mixture to the honey and coconut oil. Stir everything together quickly to avoid it from foaming overtop the pot.

Pour the caramel over top the popcorn until thoroughly mixed and add in the walnuts if using.

Transfer the popcorn to the two sheet pans and spread out evenly to allow them to crisp up since the popcorn will be a bit mushy at this point.

Place in oven for approximately 45 minutes, mixing every 15 minutes or so to avoid the popcorn from clumping.

They’re ready when the caramel turns brown in color. Remove from oven, they’ll still feel a bit gooey and soft at this time but will harden up as it cools.

Store in airtight container for up to one week (if they last that long).

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