Restaurant Review: Oxbow

>> Friday, July 21, 2017

It sort of feels like a changing of the guards right now in Calgary. Due to the economy the last two years we have unfortunately seen a lot of restaurants having to close their doors. Very sad, but the good thing is it seems to be turning around, with lots of great new dining options that are now taking the places of great restaurants before them. Even in Kensington, where there were already some great dining options, they decided to run their first ever Foodie Fest this year to showcase all the great locations within that neighbourhood and as part of the event I was able to check out Oxbow. The new spot located inside the Kensington Riverside Inn!

Atmosphere: Contemporary dining located within the Kensington Riverside Inn. Dining area evokes a laidback casual elegance that’s perfect for relaxing on whether during the week or weekend.

Price Range:  Mid $10s - $20+

Food & Wine: Since we were there as part of the Kensington Foodie Fest, we were treated to a lovely 4 course Chef’s tasting menu featuring ingredients sourced from the Kensington Community such as Sidewalk Citizen and Higher Ground. For those who haven’t tried a chef’s tasting before, this is a great location to delve in since their price is more than reasonable. I suggest the optional wine pairing on top since it elevates the dish and you get to sample 4 different types of wine.




We started with some delicious local bread served with both specialty and housemade butters which was made using bone marrow. Definitely unique – the bone marrow butter that is - and my kind of way to start the evening, can never go wrong with bread in my books.

For our first course we had the BC Octopus Tempura with compressed cucumbers and chipotle aioli. I am a huge fan of octopus and am glad to see that more and more chefs are now serving it at their restaurants. The octopus was extremely tender and well-seasoned. I don’t typically see tempura style octopus served outside of Asian restaurants and I enjoyed it. The salad was refreshing with the added cucumber and of course the bubbles from the Graham Beck Brut Rose lighten up the whole dish.




Next we had Mushrooms On Toast with Sidewalk Citizen bread and wild mushrooms topped with a hazelnut pistou. I would order this again and again. One of my favorite dishes is mushrooms on toast and I will always get it when it’s available on the menu. There is something special about the creamy earthy mushrooms contrasted against the crunchy chewiness of the bread. Here the pistou added another level of flavor which paired quite nicely with the French Saint Veran Burgundy white wine that was served with the course.

Our meat course was a Hanger Steak featuring the Higher Ground coffee Espresso Chili Rub served with a corn relish and arugula salad. I don’t typically order hanger steak and which is why a chef’s tasting is so worth it because you eat things that you probably wouldn’t normally order and in this case I’m glad we got to. The steak was juicy and tender and the chili espresso rub gave it just the right amount of spice. This course was paired with the Trust Syrah a heavier red to match the steak and coffee aromas.



The last course, dessert, was an Earl Grey Goats Cheesecake made with tea from the Naked Leaf along with a berry compote. For those who love their goats cheese, this is the dessert for you. You can definitely taste the cheese throughout and hints of the earl grey tea. We had the Lakeview Cellars Ice Wine from the Niagara region.

My Pick: Hanger Steak

Overall: A really nice reinvention of the space and I was extremely glad that we got to visit during the foodie fest, but as mentioned before it’s still a great dining option regardless. I would almost say it’s a hidden gem due to the location inside Kensington Riverside Inn. It’s like an oasis from the hustle and bustle of the city!

Oxbow
1126 Memorial Dr NW
Calgary, AB
(403) 228-4442
Website: kensingtonriversideinn.com



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

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