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Calgary restaurants: 5 new and noteworthy things


January 19, 2018

This is part of our bi-monthly food and drink series, which rounds up eats, drinks and food news!

Bar Annabelle now open on Stephen Avenue

Photo by Jasmine Croteau.

Bar Annabelle’s pink doorway with gold script draws you inside to a tiny but welcoming space. The wine bar opened in December 2017 right next door to sister restaurant Blink on Stephen Avenue, and offers a unique drinks list and tapas menu. The cozy bar is accented by pink, from the light fixtures to the distinctive Kat Marks price point and bill markers complete with Bar Annabelle’s logo.

Blink and Bar Annabelle owner Leslie Echino is often a friendly face behind the bar, and she’ll offer up a wine or spirits recommendation tailored to your preferences. From the spirits list, try the Shiratama Umeshu Brandy from Signapore. It’s a plum wine blended with brandy and makes for a delightful after-dinner sipper.

If you’re looking for small snacks to nosh on with your drink, you can choose from a selection of tapas like olives, roast nuts or whipped ricotta on baguette. Meatier options include charcuterie meats, a selection of artisan cheese with house-made jam and baguette or Sturgeon Caviar.

New feature option at Caesar’s Steak House

Upper level of lounge at Caesar’s downtown location/Photo courtesy Caesar’s Steak House and Lounge.

Caesar’s Steak House and Lounge has introduced “convivium”, a new feature intended to build a sense of community over the enjoyment of food, wine and conversation. From Monday to Friday, 3 to 6 pm, you can choose from a special menu in the comfortable and luxurious lounges at both Caesar’s locations (Downtown and Willow Park). Sip, snack and chat while eating through a selection of hors d’oeuvres on the menu, including fennel meatballs, tenderloin bites and beef sliders. Drink specials include well highballs for $5 and featured red or white wines for $8; select drought for $6; select bottled beer for $5 and select cocktails for $9.

Loft Lounge at Granary Road 

Game meat charcuterie at Loft Lounge/Photo by Silvia Pikal.

After exploring the market at Granary Road, you have the opportunity to sit down in an elegant upstairs space at The Loft Lounge. Operated by Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts, the restaurant’s menu allows you to choose from share dishes or entrées. For sharing, the game meat charcuterie is a winner, with addictive elk salami and wild boar mortadella. Follow that with the warm pretzel bites and seared chicken skewers. Have a glass of the Granary Road Spritz with Aperol, prosecco and soda, for a refreshing drink that strikes the perfect balance of sweet and tart flavour. The Loft Bakery and Kitchen are downstairs if you’re looking for fresh pastries or sandwiches.

12 Street Bridge now open in Inglewood

Bison tartar at Rouge/Photo by Silvia Pikal.

After more than two years of construction, the 12th Street SE Bridge reopened in December 2017, making it much easier to get to Inglewood from the downtown core. For those looking for a sit-down lunch with exceptional service, Rouge Restaurant rises to the plate while also offering a relaxed and welcome atmosphere for lunch. A beautifully plated and notable dish is the bison tartar, with Saskatoon berry vinaigrette and barley cracker. Finish your meal with the dark chocolate brownie, which was voted one of Where Calgary’s 25 favourite dishes in the January/February 2018 Where to Dine Awards issue.

Two Penny open for lunch

Won ton soup at Two Penny Chinese/Photo by Silvia Pikal.

Two Penny Chinese is now open for lunch daily at 11 am. The restaurant is the newest concept from Thank You Hospitality Hospitality, the team behind Native Tongues Taqueria and Calcutta Cricket Club. The family style menu gives you the option to sample several things, but if you’re in a rush, pick the lunch special. You can choose from a protein of your choice (with options like roast duck, crispy chicken, crispy pork belly or steamed eggplant) on steamed rice or soup noodles. If you have time to sip and snack, feast on the won ton soup and try one of their funky and tasty cocktails, like the gin soy sour.




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