Restaurant Review: Rodney's Oyster House

>> Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Both my husband and I love seafood, although to be honest, I don’t think I know anybody that loves seafood as much as he does. I am still shocked to this day how much shellfish that man can stomach in one sitting. It’s quite amazing. So when I heard that Rodney’s was opening a location here in Calgary, I couldn’t wait to check it out with whom else, my husband.

Atmosphere: Bright and open the space is able to transport you mentally to a seaside town by the ocean and far from land locked Calgary.

Price Range: Mid $10s - $20s

Food & Wine: We’ve been back several times since they first opened and the food has been consistently amazing. The shellfish is always fresh, which is extremely important when you’re enjoying rare oysters. Although it’s tough deciding on which items to order since everything is delicious. We usually tend to start with some fresh oysters. For those that aren’t quite certain of their taste for rare oysters, I suggest staying with the East Coast options, which tend to have a mild briney flavour and are less chewy in texture. Village Bay, Ruisseau and the Raspberry Point were my favourites. Since they’re all less robust in flavour I can easily choose any of the ones on the list.

As for West Coast Oysters, they’ve definitely got a creamier texture to them. My favourite west coast selection is the Kusshi, smaller and out of Vancouver Island, they have a nice briney flavour and a lingering taste. I also enjoy all the sauces that Rodney’s provide. It’s fun to mix and match the different flavours to see which combo works best for you. I’m still somewhat traditional and one of my favourite combos is horse radish, mignonette, tabasco and a squeeze of lemon. If you’re a fan of spicy foods, then give the “Back From Hell” a try. My husband and I really enjoy it but be careful if you’re not used to super spicy foods.

If you’re looking for more shellfish, the Mussels are a great appetizer in addition to the oysters. They come in an amazing garlicky white wine sauce which is perfect for dipping your bread. The mussels themselves are super sweet and meaty. The server told us it was roughly a pound of mussels, but I’m not certain if it’s because of the size of each mussel, but it sure seemed like there was more.

Another great option is the Soft Shell Steamers, which are a bit larger than your typical clam but just as if not even more sweet than normal. Be sure to have the server show you have to eat them since they have a membrane surrounding them which needs to be removed or else it makes the whole clam extremely chewy. Although we were hoping for the Quahogs (an even bigger clam), but they were out the last couple times, now that we know they have the soft shell steamer clams, we’d definitely order these again.

Next up was the Clam Chowder, easily the most notorious dish at any seafood restaurant. The clam chowder by far one of the most ordered items off the menu. Here at Rodney’s they have both the New England (cream based) and Manhattan (tomato based) versions. We’re both partial to the New England version and ordered a large bowl to share. I really liked the creaminess of the soup, but more so how many clams there actually was in the chowder. I’m not a huge fan of too many potatoes so I found that Rodney’s version had a nice balance of the ingredients.

For our main we had the Fish Hot Pot, which isn't a traditional hot pot with boiling water and a mini stove top aka Asian style, but its more reminiscent of a cioppino with a bit of each type of seafood. My only qualm with the dish was that it was quite a bit smaller than what the description led us to believe, but aside from that all the ingredients were perfectly cooked and extremely fresh.

We couldn't leave without a bit of dessert and had the Lime Pie, which isn't in the form of your typical pie, but more of a trifle. The lime custard was extremely smoothly with just the right amount of tartness, when mixed in with the gram crumble and whipped topping it really pulled the 'pie' together.

If you’re looking for some wine to accompany your meal, I would suggest a nice white or even some bubbles so the delicate seafood flavours aren’t overwhelmed by the robustness of the alcohol. For those that enjoy their cocktails, they serve a bourbon iced tea, which reminds me of a sweet old fashioned or try the Rodney’s Caesar which comes with a shrimp as well!

My Picks: Oysters, Mussels, Soft Shell Steamers

Overall: We’ve had great means at various Rodney’s across the country and are glad to report that the food in Calgary does not disappoint. If you too are a seafood lover then you really can’t go wrong at Rodney’s. There are so many great dishes to try and even when you think you’ve had them all, they offer daily features which can definitely switch things up. Just make sure to make reservations so you can avoid the wait.

Rodney’s Oyster House
355 10 Ave SW
Calgary, AB
(403) 460-0026

Rodney's Oyster House on Urbanspoon


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