Restaurant Review: Chefbar

>> Friday, January 22, 2016


There’s a little hidden place off 11th that I’ve been visiting on and off over the last couple years called Canvas. Recently they’ve changed owners and I was curious to see what the new restaurant was all about and I’m glad to say that I was pleasantly surprised by what I tasted at Chefbar (not to be confused with Charbar).

Atmosphere: Small intimate dining room for those who’s looking for a romantic evening out.

Price Range: Mid $10s - $20+

Food & Wine: We started the evening off with lots of veggies including the Kale Caesar which came with a runny poached egg on top, smoked bacon, toasted brioche and shaved grana padano cheese. It was a nice twist to your conventional caesar salad. The hearty kale held up well against the creamy dressing. The runny yolk and brioche provided different textural contrasts which I really liked. I highly recommend it to those who are looking for something different.

 
We also had the Roasted Cauliflower tossed in smoked paprika oil and topped with capers and parsley. You don’t see cauliflower on the menu often and I feel like it’s an under used vegetable. It was a surprise to see it highlighted here. The cauliflower itself still retained a nice crunchy texture and was paired well with the tangy capers and smoky paprika.

For the main we shared the Braised Short Ribs served over risotto with lots of delicious jus. This dish screams comfort food to me, while still remaining elevated with the use of risotto rice opposed to plain rice or vegetables. The short ribs were fall of the bone tender, coupled with all that delicious jus, it was exactly what I was hoping for and more with the risotto being a big bonus! This dish was their special of the day and I’m really hoping they put it on their menu!

 
I decided to have Mojito that evening opposed to my go to red wine. The server mentioned that their bartender made a kickin’ mojito and how could I possibly refuse? It was definitely a refreshing drink and perfect for those looking for something sweet without it being cloyingly so.

My Pick: Braised Short Ribs

Overall: The food truly does speak for itself but aside from their delectable offerings, I really enjoy the space of Chefbar. It’s intimate and cozy perfect for those nights where you’re looking to go out but wanting something a little quiet, but I guess now that I’m letting the cat out of the bag, it’s not going to be hard for me to find a table there!

Chefbar
602 11 Avenue SW
Calgary, AB
(587) 353-1299
Website: chefbar.ca

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

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Quick and Easy Succulent Italian Style Meatballs

>> Wednesday, January 13, 2016


Happy New Year Everyone!! I can’t believe it is 2016 already! At this point I probably sound like a broken record at the beginning of every year, but I am truly shocked that it’s 2016. With the beginning of a new year I typically like to share a new healthy recipe. This year’s recipe sounds indulgent but is actually quite healthy due to the fact that we’re using lean ground beef and lots of herbs to provide that kick of flavour.

These meatballs are also quick and easy to throw together for days when you’re on the run and really don’t have much time to prep for dinner. It tastes even better if you make the mix the day before and let it marinate overnight. However it still works if you need to make it the day of.

A lot of recipes say to sauté the onions and garlic etc before cooking but if you’re in a time crunch, I find that throwing everything in to the mix and letting it cook in the oven is just as tasty. Also, I didn’t use any breadcrumbs in this recipe, I know lots of people believe they help provide moisture but I found that adding the moisture aka water right in to the mix and upping the egg ratio also works. Here’s my recipe and hopefully you enjoy!

Ingredients:

1/2 lb Lean Ground Beef
1/2 lb Ground Pork
1 medium Onion, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
2 Eggs
1/3 cup Water
1 tbsp fresh oregano – can substitute dried herbs if required
1 tbsp fresh basil
1 tbsp fresh thyme
1 tbsp fresh parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste
Optional: 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper – if you like more of a kick

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a sheet pan with tin foil set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, add in all the ingredients, beef, pork, onions, garlic, eggs, water, oregano, basil, thyme, salt and pepper, cayenne pepper if using. Mix thoroughly with your hands until everything is well combined.

To test the mixture, make a 1 cm ball and place in the microwave. This is my test on whether there is enough salt in the mixture. Adjust as required. If you find it’s bland, add salt, if it’s a bit too salty, add some water. It’s definitely easier to recover if the mixture is on the bland side to start and you can slowly adjust the taste.

Once ready and if you have time, I highly suggest letting the meatballs marinate for at least an hour or even overnight. The longer time it has to marinate the better the flavours will have to meld penetrate the meat.

When ready to cook. Roll the meatballs in to 2 inch round balls and place them about 1 inch apart from each other on the sheet pan.

Place in the oven and cook for roughly 15-20 mins. Remove and you can cut one open to check to see if they’re cooked.

I suggest serving them with a yummy tomato sauce for dipping or even throwing them in to your spaghetti. Either way they’re delicious!

Serves 3-4 people.

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