By John Gilchrist and Where Calgary Editors
NEW & NOTABLE
We’ve been waiting for star chef Michael Noble’s new place to open for almost three years. (The talented chef represented Canada twice at the Bocuse d’Or culinary championships.) Notable, with its wood-fired rotisserie lamb and Okanagan peach tatin, stylish Montgomery digs, and its commitment to local and seasonal foods, makes us happy we waited. 4611 Bowness Rd NW, 403-288-4372.
TOP 5 BAKERIES
1 Itza Bakeshop
Alexandra Chan’s new bakery in the Devenish Building adds sweet relief from 17th Avenue shopping and strolling. Try the almond croissants (111, 908 – 17 Ave SW).
2 Manuel Latruwe
The best of Belgian baking is now available with sit-down options so you can chuff back a gorgeous pastry or a bowl of ice cream on the spot (1313 – 1 St SE).
3 Nectar Desserts
Whether it’s the fruit of the season or smokey chocolate with sea salt caramel tarts, Rebekah Pearse’s pastries are as rich and delightful as you’d like. And the Inglewood upstairs setting is cheekily fresh too (Page 60).
4 Decadent Desserts
Pam Fortier makes some of the best cakes and cookies in town. But it’s her shortbreads that keep us coming back time and again (831 – 10 Ave SW).
5 A Ladybug Bakery and Café
With locations in the Calgary Farmers’ Market and in Aspen Woods, A Ladybug has become the go-to bakery for many wanting organic and satisfying desserts. The crepes are great too (10 Aspen Stone Blvd; Currie Barracks, 4421 Quesnay Wood Dr SW).
SOMETHING TO YAK ABOUT
Ever had yak? How about a momo? Now you can have the two together with Everest Kitchen’s yak momos dish. Calgary’s only Nepalese restaurant serves up ground yak meat—the yaks are raised on a farm near Airdrie—spiced and folded into a wheat-flour dumpling and steamed. 176 Bedford Dr NE, 403-452-8766.
EDITOR’S PICK: BIG CHOPS
Chinook Centre shoppers and movie-goers now have another fine food option—Chop Steakhouse. Attached to the south end of the gargantuan mall, Chop spreads almost 400 seats over various dining rooms and a roof-top lounge. Steaks are big here but Chop adds non-beef dishes like a wild salmon burger with kaffir lime and tomato salsa and a Tuscan veggie burger to please everyone. 6605 Macleod Tr S, 403-250-2043.
Made with fresh B.C. salmon, halibut and Alberta golden trout, the seafood cakes at Petite Restaurant make for a delicious light lunch. Crispy on the outside and accompanied by sun-dried tomato and pine nut aioli, you will be tempted to eat every last crumb (we did). They come with a side spicy greens and cherry tomato salad for $12.
At Bolero servers walk around with skewers of Parmesan-coated striploin, rack of lamb, and other carnivorous entrees, and you signal from your table what item you’d like (Page 68). Sushi BBQ Inn goes beyond other all-you-can-eat sushi spots by mixing in Korean barbecue (1222 – 16 Ave NW). For daily specials, Salt & Pepper has unlimited tacos on Tuesdays (Page 67), while at Bookers you can get a caravan of crab legs on Sundays.
Go for a taste of the Czech Republic at Praga Café. Though the dishes consist mainly of familiar cold cut and schnitzel meats, the sides and sauces, such as svícková (marinated beef sirloin with spiced vegetables, and double cream) give everything a distinct taste.
Wine aficionados will delight in the Rocky Mountain Food & Wine Festival held at Stampede Park from October 14 – 16. This annual event brings together over 180 exhibitors, armed with wine, scotch, beer, spirits and cuisine from Calgary restaurants and hotels. After entry into the Grand Tasting Hall guests are free to pick and choose their samples, bought with festival sampling coupons. Be sure to check out the complimentary Cheese Seminars hosted by the Dairy Farmers of Canada. For tickets, call 403-228-0777.