Restaurant Review: Frenchie Winebar and Una Takeaway

>> Monday, December 19, 2016

Brr!! It is cold outside lately! From what I hear it’s suppose to stay that way for the next little while. So what better time than to keep warm with a couple glasses of wine. Then again, when is it not ‘wine o’clock’ in my books. Recently I had the opportunity to check out this lovely new gem called Frenchie Winebar and it totally took my breath away. Not to mention that it is also hidden behind one of the best takeaway places – Una Takeaway!

Atmosphere: Like stepping in to a traditional bar in the heart of Paris, making it the perfect place to impress a date or get cozy with some wine. Be sure to get there early in order to get a place at one of their coveted tables (there’s only 15 seats!).

Price Range: Mid $10s - $30

Food & Wine: As I hinted earlier Frenchie Winebar is actually located at the back of Una Takeaway. Making it a neat little secret that I’m sharing with everyone. I was lucky enough to get the grand tour of the whole place including the lovely Una Takeaway up front and their amazing kitchen in the basement where all charcuterie is made fresh in house by Empire Provisions.

When I sat down at the bar I got to sample some of their delicious charcuterie along with some lovely wine paired by the sommelier. On our lovely charcuterie platter was the Beef Bresaola, Chicken Liver Mousse, Pate and for the cheese we had La Grand Crème and Wensleydale with amazing accompaniments such as a pepper chutney, pickled vegetables, dates and cashews.

The Beef Bresaola, made by air drying the beef in a humidity controlled environment. You could taste the flavour of the beef with was enhanced through being lightly dehydrated with a hint of salt. There was also the creamy Chicken Liver Mousse which I couldn’t stop spreading it over the crostinis! Salty, unctuous with a hint of sweetness made it perfect for the crispy crostinis. The Pate was meatier and had amazing texture. I enjoyed it on its own and didn’t need the accompaniments but they were tasty as well. We got the chance to try the Finocchiona as well, made with fennel and pepper and you can see them speckled throughout the meat and you can definitely taste it!

I tend to stick to lighter cheeses and both of the selections we had that night were quite mild, which was perfect because they paired very nicely with the meats and the wine that we had. The La Grand Crème is exactly that light and creamy made from cow’s milk. Whereas the Wensleydale also made from cow’s milk was firm providing the texture contrast between the two. The cheeses went very nicely with the olives as well, the brininess seem to balance the milky taste from the cheese.

We had to try the dessert offerings since seeing the display at Una Takeaway up front it was hard not to want to order everything! They bake all their pastries and desserts in house and the Churro Pie caught my attention right away. It tastes just like what you’d expect, churro in the form of a pie! Delicious graham cracker crust with a creamy filling and topped with cinnamon sugar and chocolate ganache, what a great way to end the evening!

Throughout the night we had lovely suggestions of different wines to try starting with the Sperling Vineyards Brut Rose from Kelowna Canada. Bubbles to start is always lovely, especially since this was a rose. Next was an interesting ‘Orange’ wine from Portugal, which is made similar to rose wine by keeping the skins of the grapes on. Unfortunately I didn’t get the name of this wine! I’m sure you can ask them though if you’re really intrigued! Lastly was a Grenache from McLaren Vale in South Australia with lots of cherry notes and light tannins. If you’re looking to try something outside your norm let them know and they’re take care of you!

My Picks: Chicken Liver Mousse, Finocchiona

Overall: What a great cozy spot to hide away from the cold outdoors with some delicious charcuterie and unique wines. Plus if you’re looking for a bit more there’s Una Takeaway just out front where you can order off the full Una menu plus delectable in house made desserts and pastries. A perfect location to start the evening or end a crazy day.

Frenchie Winebar
618 17 Ave SW
Calgary, AB
(403) 457-1432

Una Takeaway
616 17 Ave SW
Calgary, AB
(403) 453-1183

Frenchie Wine Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Christmas Foodie Gift Guide and Giveaway!

>> Monday, December 5, 2016

With less than a month to go before Christmas, hunting for the perfect gift for the people on your list is officially on! I often struggle with what to buy others since it seems that everybody has everything. However this year I ran in to a couple items that I thought would be fun for the foodies out there and I was hoping to share them with you. Hopefully some of the items below will help make your Christmas shopping a bit easier this year!

Photo courtesy of Grey Goose Vodka

Gifts For The Cocktail Enthusiast

For those that love to try their hand at making cocktails – what’s more versatile than using vodka as the base to build upon? Grey Goose Vodka has created some amazing gift sets this year that would be perfect! The gift boxes vary from Grey Goose's VX, which is vodka with a hint of precious cognac to their cocktail sampler with 3 premium flavours: l'Orange, Cherry Noir and La Poir. Here’s a great recipe to get them started in their cocktail making adventures:

Grey Goose Fireside
2 parts Grey Goose Vodka
2 tsp organic maple syrup
1 pint of salt
1 rosemary sprig
Top with fresh pink grapefruit juice

Photo courtesy of

Gifts For The Oenophile

For those who enjoy their glasses of wine, what’s better than sipping it out of a breathable wine glass by Eisch where it makes decanting a thing of the past. Or if they’ve already gotten a lovely set of glasses, let them experiment with a wine subscription. Where every month a new set of wines will be delivered to them and allow them to try new exciting varietals or wineries that they may not have tasted before.

Photo courtesy of

Gifts For The Chef

For that somebody on your list always trying to create new dishes and experimenting with different flavours the ‘Try the World’ subscription allows them to use their imagination every month when they receive a box filled with eight different goodies from a specific country. The country will change monthly and an expert chef will choose items unique to that location. Recipes and stories accompany the items so you can learn more about that regions cuisine.

Photo courtesy of Cindy La

Gifts For The Food Conoisseur

For those that are on team eat, a lovely night out at one of Calgary’s many fine restaurants is always a treat. But with so many what’s a good one to pick? Luckily I can help a bit with that. I have TWO Gift Cards to GIVEAWAY! One is for the newly opened Oliver & Bonacini’s The Guild Restaurant on Stephen Avenue. The second is for Starbelly in south Calgary, where they have recently welcomed their new executive Chef. Leave a comment to be entered! If you’re looking at other potential restaurants, maybe one of my restaurant reviews can help with your decision! There are so many great offerings in Calgary that you’ll be pleased no matter what the choice.

I wish all those good luck with trying to find that special someone their perfect gift! There's truly nothing more exciting that the holidays. Hope you guys all get to enjoy!


Win with 'Edo a Little, Help a Lot'

>> Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The holidays are here and Edo Japan is excited to be celebrating this festive season with Simply Better giving through their ‘Edo a Little, Help a Lot’ holiday campaign! Edo will once again be supporting Canada’s food banks by donating 25 cents to local food banks for every spring roll sold during the holiday season. Last year, Edo raised over $74,000 for food banks across the country and with 850,000 Canadians using food banks each month, it’s never been more important to give back.

New this year, Edo will be hosting ‘Double Up Day’ on December 10 – a one-day event during which Edo will be doubling donations (from 25 cents to 50 cents!) to local food banks for each spring roll sold! With signature dishes like Teriyaki Chicken and Sukiyaki Beef, and a full sushi offering, there is something at Edo to satisfy every craving. Edo Japan gift cards are perfect for stocking stuffers, secret Santa gifts and everything in between!

Help spread the word this year and you can be entered to win a $25 gift card to Edo! Tweet out this blog in order to be entered in to the draw, which will happen in the next week! Good luck!


Restaurant Review: Divino Wine & Cheese Bistro

>> Monday, November 14, 2016

While I was pregnant people were always wondering whether I missed wine since I was such a oenophile before I became pregnant. Funny enough the answer was no. I didn’t miss wine. The reason is because my sense of smell was exponentially heightened which made wine much more potent and sadly…very unpleasant. However, that was then and this is now. Ever since giving birth I have been craving wine, maybe it’s my body trying to catch up with all the months of lack of consumption. So when I was meeting up with a friend and she suggested that we go to Divino’s a classic wine and cheese bistro in town, I was couldn’t be more excited to visit a long time favorite.

Atmosphere: Elegant interior which makes full use of the heritage building decor on Stephen Ave in which it is situated. Be sure to make resos as its typically quite busy here.

Price Range: $10s - $30+

Food & Wine: Divino’s is a tried and true classic in Calgary and I was happy to visit again. Since it’s been a while. I was pretty excited when I saw Foie Gras Ravioli on the menu. What could be better than foie? When it’s stuffed in to pasta! Topped with a lovely mushroom jus, it was extremely decadent. When you cut in to the ravioli the foie just oozes out and I couldn’t wait to taste it. I thoroughly enjoyed this dish and will continue to order it every time I see it on the menu.

Another great dish is the Buffalo Tartare made with buffalo tenderloin, saltspring island chevre, black pepper vinaigrette and served with housemade chips. Beef tartare tends to be the norm in most restaurants in town, so it was refreshing to see a buffalo tartare especially since it was made with buffalo raised in the CRMR ranch. With just the right amount of tartness from the vinaigrette and the crunch from the chips it was a nice contrast to the creamy foie ravioli.

For my main I ordered the Rougie Duck Breast accompanied by gingered bok choy, potato confit and topped with roasted duck jus. The duck itself was cooked to a perfect medium well and nicely seasoned. I liked the added sweetness from the jus. I don’t think you can ever really go wrong with perfectly cooked duck with the skin rendered just so.

I couldn’t go to a restaurant that specializes in wine and not imbibe! Especially since I was already craving a glass or two (or more) of wine. I decided to try the 2011 Cantina Terre del Barolo from Piedmont Italy. You really can’t go wrong with a nebbiolo. It was bold, full bodied and smooth. A deep red wine with notes of coffee and caramel. It’s perfect with big bold dishes like the ones we had that night.

My Pick: Foie Gras Ravioli

Overall: As suspected, Divino did not disappoint. The food, atmosphere and wine were all top notch. It was a great place to reintroduce my senses back to wine. You can’t go wrong here it’s the perfect place to unwind whether for happy hour (which is great there) or for dinner!

Divino Wine & Cheese Bistro
113 8 Ave SW
Calgary, AB
(403) 410-5555

Divino Wine & Cheese Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Restaurant Review: Royale Brasserie

>> Saturday, October 29, 2016

I’ve been really feeling the travel itch lately. We love traveling and have tried to make it a part of our lives, but with the birth of our son this year traveling has been limited. Since we couldn't leave the city to celebrate our wedding anniversary we decided to enjoy it here at home at a wonderful new French restaurant called Royale which opened up in Corbeaux's old space.

Atmosphere: They’ve updated corbeaux's decor by making it their own with added French touches to warm up the space.

Price Range: mid $10s - $20s

Food & Wine: I always have trouble deciding on what to eat since I want to try everything! It’s even harder when it comes to French cuisine because everything sounds delectable. We decided to try some dishes that are our favorites including the Tartare de Boeuf or Beef tartare. The tartare came with the egg and mustard to the side, which is then mixed in to the beef itself. This provides the dish that extra creaminess that makes it just right.

We also tried the Escargots a l’Ail, nothing is more quintessentially French then some escargots. We had some crazy ones in France! The ones at Royale are a lot more manageable and smothered in a delicious garlic herb butter, only way to eat escargots in my books. I even dipped my bread in to the butter. If you’ve never had escargots before, they have a distinct chew to them but not too much flavour to them, which is why the garlic butter is perfect in this dish.

For my main I had the Joues de Fletan en Papillote, Halibut checks steamed in parchment served with mixed vegetables. The fish was nicely cooked and the accompanying sauce was a perfect compliment. The whole dish overall tasted amazing and is a nice healthy choice for those who are looking for something a bit lighter.

The hubby ordered the Cote d’Agneau Grillees aka Grilled lamb chops with herb de provence. It was definitely a hearty serving. The lamb was cooked to a perfect medium well and came with green beans, mushrooms and potato gratin. I had a couple bites and really liked the sides as well as the lamb itself. It’s the French version of meat and potatoes and was definitely filling.

After a quick look at the dessert menu I knew I wanted the Profiteroles especially since they came with house made vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. Anything that has ice cream is a must for me. The profiteroles are light and airy, it does become a bit hard due to the ice cream filling but you just need to give it a couple mins to warm up once you take a bite. It was the perfect way to end the meal for me.

My husband ordered the Tarte Fine Aux Pommes, a light apple tart with salted caramel sauce and ice cream. I couldn’t resist and had to try it as well. The apples were nicely spiced and the salted caramel provided an extra depth of flavour. The ice cream was literally the icing on the cake. My husband said he liked it even more than the profiteroles. I don’t know if I agree with that, but rather I’d say it was hard to pick between the two.

Our wine for the evening was the Domaine Begude pinot noir. It’s a light bodied red with cherry notes and made for a nice sipping wine. It was also perfect for both our seafood and red meat dishes. It was a bit lighter than the reds that we normally order but it worked well with our meal.

My Picks: Escargots a l'Ail, Tarte Fine Aux Pommes

Overall: Although we couldn't leave the city I'm glad we live in a place where we can dine on cuisines from around the world. The food at Royale has roots in French cooking but still encompasses the unique qualities of Alberta. I hope to be back to try more dishes and am eyeing the foie gras for next time. The food here will definitely hold me over until our next scheduled trip!

Royale Brasserie
730 17 Avenue SW
Calgary, AB
(403) 475-9457

Royale Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Enjoying the Last Weeks of Autumn - Things To Do in YYC!

>> Friday, October 14, 2016

Walking through the mall the other day I saw stores already carrying Christmas decorations and I thought to myself, way too soon! We’re not even half way through October yet! We still need to enjoy all the fun things about autumn before moving on to winter and finally Christmas. I’m also not ready to say goodbye to 2016 just yet. So I’ve come up with a list of activities that I thought would be fun to check out over the next couple months as part of Eventbrite’s listing of fun fall activities before the snow really sets in.

Photo courtesy of Google
1) Cobb's Corn Maze

This can make for a great day out for the whole family. Not only is it fun for kids but adults can enjoy the corn maze as well. There is also other fun activities such as a climbing wall, mini golf and a ropes course to keep all the kiddies entertained.

2) Grabbing lunch from Sidewalk Citizen and a coffee from Phil and Sebastian's in East Village and wondering along the bow river

There’s probably only a handful of days left for us to enjoy the Riverwalk in Calgary while taking in the beautiful autumn colors before all the leaves fall from the trees. What better way than to grab a snack at Sidewalk Citizen and a coffee from Phil and Sebastian’s at the Simmons building before heading out for that stroll?

3) Watching live sport matches while enjoying great pizza at Azzurri!

For those looking for something indoors, you can always warm up your stomachs while watching the flames start their preseason at Azzurri Pizzeria where there’s always a sports match on the tv. The thing different here than a typical pub is you’re also dining on some top notch pizza creations!

Photo courtesy of Studio Bell

4) Checking out all things music at the new Studio Bell

Another great indoor activity would be taking the kiddies to experience music in a whole new manner at the newly opened Studio Bell. Right now they’re showcasing the history of Alberta music which is both fun and educational!

Photo courtesy of Avenue Calgary

5) Checking out the fun fall events at the Calgary zoo such as Illuminasia

You can never go wrong with fun events at the zoo! Right now they’re still showcasing Illuminasia, which features amazing animal laterns all lit up for the evening! This isn’t going to be on much longer so be sure to catch them. Their next big event will be zoolights so be sure to check out their site for more information.

Those are some things I could think of off the top of my head to try and enjoy Calgary as much as possible before the snow comes down. What are your favorite activities? Is there anything I should add to the list? Let me know! Eventbrite is a great site to find more fun local events or even to create tickets to an event of your own! Hopefully everyone can make the most out of the last couple weeks of fall before we really have to start thinking about Christmas decorations and shopping for gifts (gasp)!


Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Fest and Free Tickets!!

>> Wednesday, October 5, 2016

October is in full swing and that means the Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival is just around the corner!

Again, I have a set of tickets for Saturday October 16th afternoon session (12-4pm) to give away! So message me through twitter or respond to this post and I’ll do a random draw next week for the winner.

For all of you that are interested, here’s a bit more information. Plus there are still additional tickets available for purchase, but they might sell out soon so don’t wait too long! Also, new for this year, the afternoon tasting session is back for those that want to avoid the long lines and big crowds. It’s also great for those that already have evening plans!

Discover flavours from around the globe at the Calgary Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival

WHAT: Explore a world of flavour with the Calgary Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival, sponsored by Sobeys Liquor and Safeway Wine & Spirits. The tastiest event of the year is back featuring a wide variety of gourmet food samples from local restaurants along with fine wine, beer and spirits from all over the globe - no passport required.

The Grand Tasting Hall brings together new-to-the-market products, old favourites and the most popular restaurants, catering companies and hotels from in and around the city to offer a weekend of excitement and flavourful fun for adults of all ages. Attendees can explore the world through an impressive winery lineup: 138 wineries from 20 different countries that promise to satisfy everyone’s palate, along with more than 200 brands of premium spirits, single malt and blended scotches, port, liqueurs and craft beers. Experience fresh flavours from more than 45 local restaurants and food purveyors who will cook up a wide variety of culinary samples, creating the perfect pairing for each sip.

Alberta’s most exciting wine and food Festival is proud to offer something for everyone, with samples ranging from value-based to ultra-extravagant. This year, port and scotch lovers won’t want to miss the extravagant pours: Taylor Fladgate 1863 Single Harvest Port (worth nearly $4,000 per bottle) and the Ledaig 42 Year Old Single Malt Scotch (worth over $7,000 per bottle) will be open for sampling.

Great talent will also join us in the Grand Tasting Hall: visit renowned chefs, winemakers, brewmasters and key principals onsite to discover the magic behind their products. Attendees are encouraged to take tasting notes and track their favourites in the Festival Guide, and then vote in The Great Big Tastes Awards post-event survey. To wrap up this unparalleled tour of tastes, consumers can stop by The Sobeys Liquor and Safeway Wine & Spirits onsite store to pick up their favourite finds.

WHO: Wine, spirit and beer lovers, along with those seeking to indulge in delicious food samples.

WHY: To sip and sample dynamic wine, beer and spirits from all over the world accompanied by fantastic local restaurants. Food and beverage creations are brought to light by talented local restaurants and food purveyors, as well as beverage experts. Enjoy everything the Festival has to offer with loved ones and friends!

WHEN: Friday, October 14, 5 - 10 p.m. Friday Evening Session
               Saturday, October 15, 12 - 4 p.m. Saturday Afternoon Session
               Saturday, October 15, 6 - 10 p.m. Saturday Evening Session

WHERE: Stampede Park BMO Centre, Halls D & E

Tickets are available online at

. Sampling coupons are required for sampling and are available for purchase onsite.


Sabra Hummus, Pita Chips and Fall Weather

>> Friday, September 30, 2016

With the weather cooling down and summer coming to a close, I have started to shift from wanting to be outside all day to sitting beside the fireplace with a nice cup of coffee. Sometimes there’s nothing better than sitting at home and enjoying a great book. Its inevitable that I start having the munchies. It’s hard to avoid chips and cookies, but there are healthier alternatives out there. One of my favorite combo is pita and hummus. Flavorful while still packing a nutritional punch.

Recently I had the opportunity to try out Sabra hummus, which surprisingly comes in many amazing flavours including Roasted Red Pepper, Basil Pesto and Roasted Garlic. My favorite at the moment is the Supremely Spicy, with loads of spicy chili in the middle to provide an extra bit of kick to amp up the flavour. The hummus itself is creamy smooth with a nice sesame flavour from the tahini and nuttiness from the chickpeas. I like to pair it with my favorite fire roasted jalapeno pita chips! I definitely don’t shy away from spiciness. =)

Pita chips are also a great way to use up leftover pita and are super easy and quick to make. I’ve included a quick recipe at the end of this post. I find that after I cook Mediterranean or other cuisines that utilize pita as a base, I always tend to have some left over. This makes for a quick and nutritional snack when combined with a delicious dip.

I can’t wait to try more offerings from Sabra and have recently found out that they also offer salsas and guacamole in a range of different flavours. Looks like I’ll have a lot more snack combos for all my hibernating this fall. I’m also going to be giving away coupons for readers of the blog to try out some of Sabra’s offerings. Please leave your name in the comments and I’ll make a draw for winners. Good luck!!

Pita Chip Recipe


Olive Oil
Optional: Garlic Powder or other spices


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut up your pita in half, cut those halves in to halves and etc until you get 8 wedges.

Place pita on a parchment covered oven sheet.

Drizzle olive oil over top.

Sprinkle some salt and pepper on to each of the wedges.

If you’d like additional flavours, you can sprinkle garlic powder or other spices on top. Feel free to make it all your own by playing with different flavour combinations!

Bake in the oven for 8-10 mins or until pitas become crispy.

Serve with your favorite hummus or dip!


Get Creative at PopBar

>> Friday, September 23, 2016

Not too long along ago I visited Crossiron Mills Mall and was surprised by their revamped food court. I knew that they were planning an extension but didn't know when or how fast it had happened. The space has really opened up with this new expansion and the food court looks great! Not to mention it has allowed new vendors to open their doors. I was particularly intrigued by one - Popbar - as I was strolling through the mall. Gelato on a stick? What isn’t better on a stick.

There are three types of Popbar’s you can choose from, either the PopSorbetto, made from fresh fruit, the PopGelato, which is creamier and milk based or the YogurtPop, as you probably guessed, made from yogurt. All the popbars are made from natural ingredients in small batches to ensure amazing freshness every time. I was shocked to find out that they made all the popbars right on sight at Crossiron Mills just behind the food court! They’re also gluten free and kosher certified so everybody can indulge. You can customize each popbar if you like, with toppings such as white, milk or dark chocolate, either drizzled on top or dipped and add additional nuts, crunchy waffle bits or more chocolate chips to your hearts desire.

I got the chance to try a couple of the popbars starting with a fresh watermelon PopSorbetto, which I had just as. It was very refreshing and it felt like you were eating a watermelon itself. It also reminded me of a watermelon bubble tea. For the PopGelato I decided to dress it up a bit more. I had the hazelnut PopGelato with dark chocolate drizzle topped with crushed waffle cone. The combination of the creamy gelato and the crunchy waffle topping was a huge hit in my books. The added dark chocolate was just a bonus providing more depth of flavour and really making it “pop”, pun intended. I was extremely surprised at how there was no milky aftertaste which can often happen with some other gelatos out there. Instead my palate was clean and the popbars definitely quenched my sugar craving.

With 40 flavours and limitless topping combinations there are endless combinations to try. Not only is it a perfect treat, its even better coupled with shopping. I can’t wait to go back and can foresee myself indulging every chance I’m at Crossiron. I’ve already got a couple flavours on my must hit list. What’s yours?

Check out their site here: for more information and to salivate over your next popbar creation.

CrossIron Mills
261055 Crossiron Boulevard
Unit K22
Calgary, AB
(403) 454-4733


Fly Beyond with Grey Goose Boulangerie Bleue

>> Thursday, September 8, 2016

Looking around at the trees reminds me that summer is truly over. The yellowing of the leaves signals fall is just around the corner. Now that August is over and September is in full swing I can't help but look back at all the great times over the last couple months including the boulangerie bleue event held by grey goose vodka. Although the weather was a story in itself this year. We were lucky enough to have a beautiful sky the night of the event. The sun peering over us on the rooftop bar at the Simmons building as we got to enjoy the French Riviera here in Calgary.

Grey goose not only brought France to Calgary but they did it in style. The blue and white outdoor party along the bow reminisce of the beautiful river seine in France. To top it all off we were treated to a lovely four course menu paired with scrumptious grey goose cocktails from the farm to table Chef Jamie Kennedy along with delectable bread creations by Marc Thobor, who deliberately flew in wheat from France to create the bread which is also derived from the same wheat that is used to make grey good vodka. What a treat indeed.

After a brief introduction and tasting of said delicious bread and the Grey Goose fizz (take on the French 75) we began our food journey with some fresh oysters from both the east and west coast. The oyster dish was paired with the vodka martini. Where the dryness of the martini compliments the briny oysters to perfection. It was a great start to the night.

Next was a divine marinated wild salmon with fresh strawberry aigre doux salad complimented by the Grey Goose Cocktail de Vin Rose. A wine inspired cocktail which tasted exactly like sipping on a lovely crisp rose. The sweetness brought out the amazing salmon flavours along with all the lovely fresh fruit on the plate.

The main was a Grilled Hanger Steak with duxelles made from different mushrooms, served with baby vegetables. The Grey Goose inspired drink was the Vin Rouge aka a dark red wine. The addition of black peppercorns in to the cocktail brought out the same flavours in the steak. I was surprised at how well the vodka was able to double as a wine substitute.

For the final course, our dessert was a decadent chocolate almond cake with sour cherry and vanilla. The cake was moist with the perfect amount of sweetness and chocolate. This course was served with the Grey Goose Espresso Martini, a creamy smooth cocktail made from coffee liquer, vanilla bean, chocolate, espresso and of course, grey goose original.

After our amazing dinner, we were all invited to attend the after party held along the banks of the bow river, where a luxurious outdoor setting was there to whisk us away to the banks of the Seine. People were invited to sample more delicious Grey Goose cocktails as well as have a cocktail developed just for them. It was definitely the celebration of the summer. One that many could not stop talking about!


Restaurant Review: The Guild

>> Wednesday, August 24, 2016

It’s great to see Calgary’s urbanscape still changing even though it’s been a tough year for our city. Even iconic buildings such as the Hudson’s Bay Building downtown can be transformed to allow for new additions such as the new Oliver & Bonacini restaurant – The Guild. Focused on hearty cuisine and local sourcing, the new restaurant is a great addition to this historical building on Stephen Avenue.

Atmosphere: Amazing nuevo industrial décor with the use of the original rustic Hudson Bay building accents.

Price Range: Mid $10s - $30+

Food & Wine: Everything on the menu sounded delicious and I literally wanted to eat it all, but decided that we should probably pace ourselves and started with a couple appetizers. I definitely couldn’t pass up the Steak Tartare and Roast Bone Marrow. The plating of the dish is amazing! The steak tartare arrives served atop the hollowed out beef bone and topped with shallot rings, crispy capers and pretty flower petals. I liked the flavour of the tartare but one thing I did miss was mixing the yolk in to the steak, regardless it was still a very pretty dish.

Next we had the Pork Country Pate served with fire roasted bread, apple puree and a fresh green salad. The texture of the pate reminded me of a rillete in flavour, which is meatier and less similar to liver or foie gras. I really liked the accompaniments, the salad was a nice touch to lighten up the dish and provide the extra tartness.

When it was time to order our mains, we had the same issue of wanting to eat everything listed. Luckily for us our server suggested the West Coast Octopus and am I ever glad that he did. It was easily the dish of the night for me, maybe even my favorite risotto dish right now. The dish is called octopus and even though it does come with perfectly grilled octopus, that’s not all. It is served over an unbelievably flavourful squid ink risotto with sea asparagus, clams and pureed squash that provide extra sweetness. I could not stop eating it and am still dreaming of it as I’m typing this.

We also had the Maple Glazed Brisket with a wildtree glaze, Saskatoon style wild rice, prairie corn and pickled leeks. I really enjoyed the glaze which was sticky and sweet, adding flavour and depth to the brisket itself. The meat was well cooked but I prefer my brisket quite fatty and was hoping for a bit more marbling in the meat itself.

For dessert we had both the Sticky Maple Butter Pudding and the Flourless Dark Chocolate Tart, both with added ice cream of course! The pudding was similar to a bread pudding (which they also have on the menu and I need to go back and try!) served with a green apple puree and crème fraiche. It was moist and was slightly sweetened, perfect with a delicious cappuccino.

The Flourless Dark Chocolate Tart was unctuous with a crisp outer layer and velvety center. Its flavour was even more elevated with a sumptuous glass of red wine. The tart itself was satisfying without being overly dense or too sweet, it’ll for sure satisfy that chocolate craving.

With this hot weather we couldn’t help but crave summery drinks and ordered the Sangria made with old vine Spanish garnacha, brandy, watermelon, oranges, lemons, strawberries and soda. It was literally summer in a glass with all that fruit! For dinner I also had the Angels & Cowboys Rose, a light and crisp rose with citrus grapefruit notes perfect pairing for seafood or sipping on a warm day.

My Picks: West Coast Octopus

Overall: Not only does the interior space take your breath away, so does the food that’s served from their amazing kitchen. I wasn’t kidding when I said I wanted to taste everything on their menu. I already have my eye on some dishes that I can’t wait to order the next time I’m in. I was excited when I hard Oliver & Bonacini was opening a restaurant in Calgary and they have not disappointed, truly a great addition to our city and to the Stephen Avenue food scene!

The Guild Restaurant
200 8 Avenue SW
Calgary, AB
(403) 770-2313

The Guild Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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