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
Website: theguildrestaurant.com

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

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Nomme Towa Event!

>> Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Ever since getting pregnant even though we still enjoy going out for dinner, its definitely been a lot harder since I've been so tired, especially now with a newborn. We found that instead we have been ordering in a lot more so we can still enjoy delicious food while taking a break from cooking (even though that's one of my favorite things to do!!). Luckily for us there are many new apps available which allows us to order in from restaurants that we would normally go to such as Greektown, Shibuya, etc. Recently I was invited to a foodie event where they're celebrating the launch of a new app called Nomme, which allows you to order in and they coupled up with the new Towa Sushi location out west which just opened to showcase their delicious food.


After a brief introduction by the Nomme and Towa staff we were treated to many amazing dishes, starting with their BBQ Skewers which is new to Towa and only available at their new west location. We got the opportunity to sample the BBQ Pork Belly, BBQ Chicken Wings and BBQ Chicken Skewers. They were all nicely chargrilled with a light charcoal taste and served with their house special BBQ sauce. Be sure to check out their menu for other great skewer options.


The Salmon Tataki which is seared salmon with ginger, lemon, red onion and ponzu sauce. The slices of salmon were nice and thick which is quintessentially Towa. I enjoyed the light sweetness of the ponzu sauce coupled with the spicy red onion and ginger. A bit of sweet, salty and tart made for a very nice start to our sushi filled meal.

Next up was all the delectable sushi rolls. First was the Spicy Salmon Roll made with salmon, cucumber and spicy mayo sauce. It was one of my favorite rolls that evening. I enjoy my foods with a kick and I liked the spiciness of the mayo especially when combined with the big towa style sushi rolls. Those who have visited Towa on 4th know what I mean when I say ‘big sushi rolls’. It’s a signature Towa style and they haven’t changed it here. The Rainbow Roll is a classic, with white tuna, salmon, shrimp, cucumber, avocado, and flying fish roe. It’s a roll for traditional sushi lovers who aren’t in to sauces or all the fusion style sushi additions. Here you truly get a taste of the fish itself which gives the roll a light and fresh quality that can’t be beat.


If you’re into rolls that have a bit more flare then the next two rolls would be highly recommended. The Mango Paradise Roll has tempura shrimp, cucumber, kani, unagi, mango, masago, avocado, house special mango and unagi sauces. The presentation itself is amazing and when it arrived at the table, it caused quite the commotion and all cameras started flashing up a storm. I enjoyed the mouthfeel of this roll with the crispness of the tempura in combination with the rice and nori. It definitely is a sweeter roll due to the use of the mango and unagi (the unagi sauce being sweet as well). Its perfect for those looking for a sweet and salty combination.


Our last dish and roll of the day, the Playboy Roll truly was playful. It came to the table flaming and needed 5 minutes for the flames to stop before we can unveil the deliciousness inside. The roll includes tuna, yam tempura, shrimp tempura, kani, spicy mayo, ebi, house special spicy sauce. The main difference here is that the use of flame provides the roll a bit of a charred taste similar to aburi sushi or the use of a torch. I really enjoyed the taste of the roll and would definitely order it again! What a great way to end the evening!


Its always nice knowing that there are different dining options and with the introduction of apps such as Nomme ordering in has never been easier. Congratulations to both Towa West and Nomme and can’t wait to try the new app, possibly ordering in from Towa! You can never have too much sushi!

Towa Sushi & Lounge
105, 8560 8A Ave SW
Calgary, AB
(403) 727-4383
Website: towasushi.com

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