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Calgary restaurants: 4 new and noteworthy things

By Silvia Pikal

February 15, 2018

Read the latest in our bi-monthly food and drink series, which rounds up eats, drinks and food news!

Elwood and the Rabbit opens in Bridgeland

Photo by What’s Good Photography, courtesy Elwood and the Rabbit.


If the name Elwood and the Rabbit makes you think of an imaginary rabbit named Harvey, you’re not alone. We promise.

The name was inspired by a Pulitzer Prize-winning play Harvey, which was turned into the 1950 film by the same name. The film starred James Stewart as Elwood P. Dowd, a quirky character who spends most of his time at the local bar with his best friend—an invisible, six-foot, three-and-a-half-inch tall rabbit named Harvey.

It’s the latest restaurant from Vintage Group, which also operates Booker’s BBQ and Crab Shack, Butcher and the Baker, Redwater Rustic GrilleTownship Bar and Grill and flagship Vintage Chophouse.

Holly Parks, Vintage Group operations manager, says they wanted to pay homage to the feral bunnies in Calgary’s Bridgeland neighbourhood in an interesting way: “Why did we pick this movie? Because it’s such a fun story. The main character speaks to who we all are; we’ve all got things about us that are quirky or a little bit off.”

The restaurant lives up to its whimsical name. Rabbits are painted on the walls and rabbit figurines are artfully placed throughout the restaurant.

Photo by What’s Good Photography, courtesy Elwood and the Rabbit.

The menu is described as offering a “playful Alberta take on globally inspired comfort food” and includes dishes like Alberta pickerel and kimchi potato salad.

“People’s dining options are much greater than they were 15 years ago,” Parks says. “What they eat and what they want to eat is different. Vintage Chophouse is a success and cornerstone in the steak market, but it’s not all we can do. For us, this was a great opportunity to get outside the box and try something new and push ourselves a little bit.”

Try one of the stand-out dishes like the Gnudi, gnocci-like dumplings made with leeks, for an elevated comfort food experience.

Provision has a new all-day menu

A post shared by Provision (@provisionyyc) on

Provision restaurant, nestled in Central Memorial Park, has introduced a new all-day menu.

A sister restaurant to Avec Bistro, Provision showcases vegetable-forward cuisine and Alberta proteins.

Owner Kirk Shaw says they’ve kept customer favourites like the crispy chicken sandwich, and brought back old favourites, including the fried brussel sprouts. A new option Shaw recommends is the roasted half chicken with baby potatoes and broccoli, parmesan aioli and truffle jus.

River Café introduces new menu for winter season

Photo courtesy River Café.

As a long-time leader in local cuisine, River Café begins each year with a brand-new menu.

Matthias Fong, chef for River Café, says sticking to local fare in Calgary’s harsh winters means getting creative with pantry ingredients.

“The exciting part of this menu is that we are relying heavily on the work done at the end of last year’s growing season,” Fong says. “We draw on our pantry of dried garden herbs, spices, vinegars and preserves to season and transform the available produce.”

Every dish on the new menu uses a specific pantry preserve in some manner. Fong recommends sampling the chef’s tasting menu to get a good taste of the pantry flavours. In February, the five-course tasting menu is available at a friends and family rate of $85 per person.

Happy 5th birthday to Yellow Door Bistro


Yellow Door Bistro is celebrating its five-year anniversary in February. Mark the occasion with 50% off glasses and bottles of Jeio Prosecco and Veuve Clicquot champagne for the entire month of February. If you’re a hot chocolate fan, try their spirited hot chocolate for YYC Hot Chocolate Fest – the house-made marshmallow blooms into a flower on top of a mix of dark chocolate ganache, milk, two different types of liqueur and dark rum.

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